Stigmatization of Non-Normative Family Size Status

Stigmatization of Non-Normative Family Size Status Prior person perception studies exposednormative expectations about family size such thatvoluntary childfree and single-child women werestigmatized and large-family mothers were glorified. Incontrast, self-reports find no differences in subjectivewell-being among these non-normative and 2 to 3 child,normative women. To explore mostly white,college-educated, employed women's experiences withtheir real-life family size choices, interviews wereconducted with 15 voluntary childfree, 15 one-child, and15 supernormative mothers of 4+ children, and 15normative mothers completed a comparison survey. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealedpatterns of universal satisfaction, yet stigmatizationacross the three non-normative groups, such as pressurefrom outsiders (including medical professionals) to stay within normative parameters persisted.One-child and supernormative mothers reported thatothers are critical of their child's well-being,intimating selfishness and neglect, respectively. These findings help coalesce the conclusions ofearlier studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Stigmatization of Non-Normative Family Size Status

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1018836630531
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Prior person perception studies exposednormative expectations about family size such thatvoluntary childfree and single-child women werestigmatized and large-family mothers were glorified. Incontrast, self-reports find no differences in subjectivewell-being among these non-normative and 2 to 3 child,normative women. To explore mostly white,college-educated, employed women's experiences withtheir real-life family size choices, interviews wereconducted with 15 voluntary childfree, 15 one-child, and15 supernormative mothers of 4+ children, and 15normative mothers completed a comparison survey. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealedpatterns of universal satisfaction, yet stigmatizationacross the three non-normative groups, such as pressurefrom outsiders (including medical professionals) to stay within normative parameters persisted.One-child and supernormative mothers reported thatothers are critical of their child's well-being,intimating selfishness and neglect, respectively. These findings help coalesce the conclusions ofearlier studies.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 30, 2004

References

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