Date of Award
Elizabeth A. Suter, Ph.D.
Motherhood, Depression, Maternal depression
Despite studies demonstrating the impact of health on the family and the family on members’ health, research exploring this intersection remains scant in both family communication and health communication. This study explores the nexus of health and family by examining constructions of motherhood and depression in emerging adult talk surrounding maternal depression. Using relational dialectics theory as the theoretical lens, the study examined talk collected in 36 one-on-one interviews with emerging adults asked to describe their experiences of having a mother with depression. Participant talk surrounding motherhood voiced two primary discourses of motherhood: (1) the discourse of real mother and (2) the discourse of ideal mother. Participant talk surrounding depression included four primary discourses of depression: (1) the discourse of depression as sadness, and (2) the discourse of depression as illness, (3) the biomedical discourse of depression, and (4) the psychosocial discourse of depression. Participant talk surrounding both motherhood and depression was a dialogically rich site of study with a high degree of diachronic separation, synchronic interplay, and transformative dialogue. Results demonstrate that meanings of motherhood and depression remain highly contested in emerging adult narratives.
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Seurer, Leah, "“She Can Be a Superhero, but She Needs Her Day Off”: Exploring Discursive Constructions of Motherhood and Depression in Emerging Adult Talk Surrounding Maternal Depression" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 589.
Received from ProQuest