Expanding the self : motherhood and identity development in faculty women
Research on women’s identity development has indicated that women generally form and view their identities within the context of their relationships and connections to others. Previous research has looked at various aspects of motherhood identity including paradoxical, conflictual, and ambivalent components of motherhood. The current study contributes by exploring 30 university faculty women’s personal experiences of motherhood through a grounded theory framework to determine the contributions of motherhood to adult identity development. Mothering expanded the women’s selves and identities multivariously, by developing new personal qualities, by increasing relational capacity and concern for others, by creating a sense of lasting influence by contributing to younger generations, and by enhancing their engagement with their careers. In this way, motherhood was personally, relationally, generationally, and vocationally expansive. Implications for clinical work and research are included.
Journal of Family Issues
DOI of Published Version
Anderson, Tamara Lynn and Hall, M. Elizabeth Lewis, "Expanding the self : motherhood and identity development in faculty women" (2014). Faculty Articles & Research. 11.