School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
Jackie Thayer Craft
motherhood, maternal satisfaction, maternal identity
Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Ross, Kristen Cartwright, "Perceptions Of Maternal Satisfaction Over the Course of a Child’s Developmental Stages" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4877.
Every motherhood experience comes with its own set of difficulties and experiences that might impact the level of life happiness for the women who inhabit it. Life satisfaction falls under the general heading of subjective well-being as it draws on comparison processes in which people assess how their present circumstances measure up to social norms and cultural ideals. This study aims to understand the changes in maternal satisfaction throughout the children's developmental years to understand potential avenues for improvement in the maternal experience, as well as provide clinical providers with the knowledge they need to help women experiencing either extreme highs or extreme lows in their motherhood satisfaction. Using a qualitative heuristic phenomenological design, this study used semi-structured open-ended interviewing to understand the experiences of the co-researchers. NVivo will be used to create thematic narrative data, and the findings illustrate the common perspectives that provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the defining attributes of satisfaction. The co-researchers elucidated the factors that contributed to their satisfaction across the developmental stages of their children. The co-researchers also discussed the challenges associated with motherhood. They discussed how their identities were formed and solidified through motherhood, and how their identities were changing since their children had become adults. The co-researchers expressed gratitude and pride when speaking about their children becoming productive citizens. Understanding the benefits and challenges of motherhood and understanding how mothers’ identities change over time could be useful for mental health practitioners counseling mothers during inevitable changes in their lives.