A qualitative analysis of maternal beliefs about parenting
Rea, Hannah Meryl
MetadataShow full item record
Researchers and clinicians have long assumed that parenting beliefs would predict parent and child behaviors, but quantitative research has often yielded surprisingly small and nonsignificant relations. One reason for the lack of associations may be that definitions and assessments of maternal beliefs about parenting are incomplete, and qualitative analyses of maternal narratives may address this gap. This study aimed to address limitations in the extant empirical literature by defining maternal beliefs about parenting through a qualitative analysis of mothers’ speech samples. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyze 103 speech samples from a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of mothers of preschool-aged children. Racial differences were also analyzed. Sixty-two codes emerged that could be separated into five themes: (1) global evaluations of the parenting role (2) valued behaviors and characteristics for the mother, (3) valued outcomes for the child, (4) influences on the motherhood, and (5) self and other evaluations. Racial differences emerged in the frequency with which participants mentioned eleven codes. The implications of the themes and codes for quantitative research, measurement construction, and intervention are discussed.