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Motherhood

Transition To Motherhood, Maternal Role In Childrearing, Extent And Effects Of Maternal Employment, Motherhood And Marital Quality


Contemporary mothering and motherhood are viewed from a much broader perspective than in previous decades by emphasizing the relational and logistical work of childrearing. Mothering is defined as the social practices of nurturing and caring for people, and thus it is not the exclusive domain of women (Arendell 2000). In most societies, however, women not only bear children but also are primary caretakers of infants and children. Motherhood is one of the few universal roles assigned to women. Historically, despite changes in women's labor force participation, fertility rates, and age at first marriage, the experience of motherhood has remained a central aspect of most women's lives. Therefore, the description that follows is limited to women's motherhood practices and experiences.

Major issues about motherhood are divided into five interrelated contexts: transition to motherhood, maternal role in child rearing, the extent of maternal employment and its impact on child outcomes, the relationship between motherhood and marital quality, and mothers' psychological well-being.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood