Title

I became a mom : Identity changes in mothers receiving public assistance

Publication Date

10-2013

Abstract

This phenomenological study used individual, semistructured, face-to-face interviews to explore motherhood experiences among 15 women receiving public assistance in a large urban area on the West coast. A primary phenomenon observed was that motherhood was described as an experience of identity change, with resulting emotional, behavioral, and sense-of-self changes. Within this broad theme, two categories emerged: the experience and process of change, and consequences of change. It was concluded that motherhood may serve as an important catalyst for change in some women and that the context of poverty is essential for understanding the motherhood experience. These results suggest that interventions aimed at leveraging emerging motherhood identities may be beneficial in setting women on the path out of poverty, drug addiction, and incarceration. Future research should examine the consequences of maternal change within the specific context of the stages of change documented in the recovery process from drug addiction.

Keywords

Motherhood; Identity (Psychology); Poor women; Drug addiction

Publication Title

Journal of Social Service Research

Volume

39

Issue

5

First Page

587

Last Page

605

DOI of Published Version

10.1080/01488376.2013.801391.

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