Date of Award:

2003

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family Life

Advisor/Chair:

Brent C. Miller

Abstract

Parenthood is a common experience, in the sense that it is almost universal among married couples, but it is a unique experience in the sense that there are great individual variations in its meaning and its impact upon the life of each parent.

In spite of the many variations in reactions and responses to parenthood, a stereotype reaction seems to prevail . The stereotyped conception of behavior following the conception of a child is for the wife to be filled with some inner joy which causes her to behave mysteriously for a time until she reveals the unsuspected truth to her naive husband. He, when informed of this totally unsuspected event, is expected to respond with surprise and exaggerated concern for his wife's health and well-being. Later, when the baby is born, each is expected to respond with pride, joy, pleasure, and to behave in ways indicating that the arrival of their child has indeed brought the ultimate fulfillment into their personal lives.

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