TitleAn exploratory study of the experience of motherhood among maternally bereaved women
NameLokker, Laura J. (author), Riggs Skean, Karen (chair), Indart, Monica (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
DescriptionThis study qualitatively explores the experience of motherhood among maternally bereaved women. Using a semi-structured interview guide developed by the researcher, ten women who suffered the death of their mothers in childhood or adolescence were
interviewed in person about their maternal loss, their experience of being a mother to one or more children, and the relationship between these two key life events. Participants ranged in age from 31-67, and the ages at which they lost their mother ranged from 5-21. Data was first compiled into brief individual narratives in order to capture the phenomenology of loss and motherhood for each participant. The data was next analyzed using principles of grounded theory to determine common themes among participants. Eleven major and four minor themes were identified, which were then consolidated into four meta-themes: 1) The enduring legacy of maternal loss (lasting impact, early
independence/parentification, feelings of insecurity/instability, feeling unsupported); 2)
History repeating itself – fear of further loss; 3) Making meaning and staying connected; and 4) An opportunity for healing and growth (completing the narrative and repairing disruption, daughters and mothers coming “full circle”, anniversaries as triggers for grieving, standing in her mother’s shoes). Integration into current literature, and clinical and research recommendations are provided.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Laura J. Lokker
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.