Maternal Identity Among Motherless Mothers and Psychological Symptoms in Their Firstborn Children

Mireault, Gina C.; Thomas, Toni; Bearor, Kimberly
September 2002
Journal of Child & Family Studies;Sep2002, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p287
Academic Journal
A variety of detrimental effects are associated with early parental loss. We examined the relationship between childhood maternal loss and maternal identity among 30 motherless mothers and their 26 matched controls, as well as the psychological health of their firstborns. Motherless mothers reported significantly lower maternal identity. However, firstborns of motherless mothers were no more likely to display psychological symptoms than firstborns of comparison mothers. The findings suggest that early maternal loss may not present risk for cross-generational effects.


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