Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing



First Advisor

Mary Bond


Not all women experience pregnancy and motherhood in the same way. There needs to be a greater understanding of how Mexican origin women experience pregnancy and anticipate mothering since Hispanics comprise the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive inquiry was to explore the meaning of attachment, commitment, and preparation during pregnancy as an anticipatory phase of mothering for the Mexican origin woman giving birth in the United States. Culture, the partner, family and friends were also explored as to how they influenced the process of anticipating mothering. Semi-structured interviews provided direct, in-depth responses about the woman's experiences, perceptions, feelings, and knowledge of becoming a mother. The richness of the results was highlighted in the statements of the young women reflecting on their pregnancy and anticipation of becoming a mother. The sample consisted of self-identifying Mexican origin primigravidas of 23-30 weeks gestation at the time of the interview. They were between 18-23 years of age, monolingual English, or bilingual-English/Spanish. The findings reflect the components of attachment, commitment, and preparation, three concepts of the model, Anticipating Mothering in the Mexican origin Woman. Three-emergent themes were identified from the interviews; determination to succeed, strong woman, and good mother. These themes appear to be interrelated and separation may not be possible with this group of women. Nurses and other health care providers need to be aware of the cultural patterns of this group of women during pregnancy. As noted by other researchers, nurses need to capitalize on the strength of these women instead of their deficits when providing care for them. Because of the importance of the other women in the expectant woman's life, suggestions for changes in formal prenatal classes as the primary mode of preparation for birth and parenting need to be considered. Services need to support their existing resiliency (determination and strength). Intergenerational and interventional research is needed to learn how to be more attuned to the beliefs and thoughts of this group of women and design appropriate programs of prenatal care and education for them.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Nursing Commons