Warning messageThis content is filtered. APPPAH membership is required for full access to journal articles.
Abstract: This study examined the subjective daily experiences of motherhood as potential opportunities for spiritual awareness and personal transformation. It explored how an enduring commitment to fostering a child through adoption, marriage or conception may lead mothers to embrace a broadened perspective in life that mirrors the core spiritual values of world religions and perennial wisdom traditions. A qualitative analysis of 22 interviews revealed 6 overlapping and interrelated themes: (a) unconditional love and interdependence (b) transcending ego or self-centeredness (c) compassion and empathy, (d) mindfulness and heightened awareness, (e) meaning and purpose in life (f) faith and a higher power.
Adams, W. (1996). Discovering the Sacred in Everyday Life: An Empirical Phenomenological Study. The Humanistic Psychologist, 24, 28-54.
Arendell, T. (2000). Conceiving and Investigating Motherhood: The Decade's Scholarship. The Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(4), 1192-1207.
Athan, A., & Miller, L. (2005). Spiritual awakening through the motherhood journey. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, 7(1), 17-31.
Baker, J. P. (1992). The shamanic dimensions of childbirth. Pre- & Peri-Natal Psychology Journal, 7(1), 5-21.
Clarke, V. (2002). Sameness and Difference in Research on Lesbian Parenting. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 12, 210-222.
Colman, A. D. (1969). Psychological state during first pregnancy. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 39(5) Oct 1969, 788-797.
Colman, A. D., & Coleman, L. L. (1975). Pregnancy as an altered state of consciousness. Birth and the Family Journal, 1, 7-11.
Coward, H. (1989). Jung's conception of the role of religion in psychological transformation. Humanistic Psychologist, 17(3), 265-273.
Daschke, D. M. (1993). Individuation and the psychology of the mystic union. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 12(3), 245-252.
DeHoff, S. L. (1998). In search of a paradigm for psychological and spiritual growth: Implications for psychotherapy and spiritual direction. Pastoral Psychology, 46(5), 333-346.
Dyson, J., Cobb, Mark, Forman, Dawn. (1997). The meaning of spirituality: a literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 26, 1183-1188. Emmons, R. A. (2000). Is spirituality an intelligence? Motivation, cognition, and
the psychology of ultimate concern. International Journal for the
Psychology of Religion, 10(1), 3-26. Emmons, R. A. (2003). Spiritual Striving and the Unification of personality.
Streams of William James, 5(1), 21-24. Epple, D. M. (2003). Encounter with soul. Clinical Social Work Journal, 31(2),
Gilligan, C., & Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development (Vol. 326). Boston: Harvard University Press.
Goddard, N. (1995). Spirituality as integrative energy: a philosophical precursor to holistic nursing practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Bailey, L. (1999). Refracted selves? A study of changes in self-identity in the
transition to motherhood. Sociology,
Balin, J. (1988). The sacred dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Qualitative
Cartwright, K. B. (2001). Cognitive developmental theory and spiritual
development. Journal of Adult Development, 8(4), 213-220.
Carver, N., & Ward, B. (2007). Spirituality in pregnancy: a diversity of
experiences and needs. British Journal of Midwifery,
Gall, T. L., Charbonneau, C., Clarke, N. H., Grant, K., Joseph, A., & Shouldice, L.
(2005). Understanding the Nature and Role of Spirituality in Relation to
Coping and Health: A Conceptual Framework.
Gilligan, C. (1984). The conquistador and the dark continent: Reflections on the
psychology of love.
Gordon, C. (2002). Women’s stories: Spiritual journeys to her self. Dissertation
Abstracts International Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences, 62.
Athan and Miller 251
Gringeri, C. (2005). Naming Our Work. Affilia, 20(4), 397-400.
. Hamel, S., Leclerc, G., & Lefrancois, R. (2003). A psychological outlook on the
concept of transcendent actualization. The international journal for the
psychology of religion, 13(1), 3-15. Hamilton, D. M., & Jackson, M. H. (1998). Spiritual Development: Paths and
Processes. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 25(4), 262-270. Hart, T. (2000). Inspiration as transpersonal knowing. In Hart, T., Nelson, P. L., & Puhakka, K. (Eds.), Transpersonal knowing: Exploring the horizon of
consciousness (pp. 31-35). NY: SUNY Press. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the Conceptualization and
Measurement of Religion and Spirituality: Implications for Physical and
Mental Health Research. American Psychologist, 58(1), 64-74. Hill, P. C., Pargament, K. I., Hood, R. W., Jr., McCullough, M. E., Swyers, J. P., Larson, D. B., et al. (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: Points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of-‐
Social Behaviour, 30(1), 51-77.
Kendler, K. S., Gardner, C. O., & Prescott, C. A. (1997). Religion, psychopathology, and substance use and abuse: A multimeasure, genetic-epidemiologic study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154(3), 322-329.
Koenig, H. G. (2001). Religion and medicine IV: Religion, physical health, and clinical implications. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 31(3), 321-336.
Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. London: Oxford University Press.
LaPierre, L. (1994). A model for describing spirituality. Journal of religion and health, 33, 153-161.
Lines, D. (2002). Counseling within a new spiritual paradigm. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 42(3), 102-123.
Linthorst, A. (1993). Mothering as a spiritual journey: learning to let God nurture your children and you along with them. New York: Crossroad.
Luthar, S. S., Doyle, K., Suchman, N. E., & Mayes, L. (2001). Developmental themes in women's emotional experiences of motherhood. Development & Psychopathology, 13(1), 165-182.
Madaras, E. I. (1999). Journeys inward: Portraits of three women's growth through the entry into motherhood. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: the Sciences & Engineering. Vol 60(6-B), Jan 1999, 3002, US: Univ Microfilms International.
Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2004). Sacred Changes: Spiritual Conversion and Transformation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60(5), 481-492.
Matsu-Pissot, C. (1998). On the experience of being unconditionally loved.
Phenomenological inquiry in psychology: existential and transpersonal dimensions, 321-334.
Hall, J., & Taylor, M. (2004). Birth and spirituality.
and debate, 41-56.
Hall, J. (2006). Spirituality at the beginning of life.
Normal childbirth: Evidence
Journal of clinical
Jesse, D. E., & Reed, P. G. (2004). Effects of Spirituality and Psychosocial Well
Being on Health Risk Behaviors in Appalachian Pregnant
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing,
Jesse, D. E. (2007). The effect of faith or spirituality in pregnancy: A content
Journal of Holistic Nursing,
252 Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health
Mauger, B. (2000).
Reclaiming the spirituality of birth: Healing for mothers and
babies. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.
Mauger, B. (1996). Childbirth as initiation and transformation: The wounded mother. Pre- & Peri-Natal Psychology Journal, 11(1), 17-31.
McNeill, J. (1998). Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Journey. Journal of religion and health, 37(4), 333-344.
McSherry, W., & Cash, K. (2004). The language of spirituality: An emerging taxonomy. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 41(2), 151-161.
McSherry, W., Cash, K., & Ross, L. (2004). Meaning of spirituality: implications for nursing practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13(8), 934.
Miller, L., Davies, M., & Greenwald, S. (2000). Religiosity and substance use and abuse among adolescents in the National Comorbidity Survey. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39(9), 1190- 1197.
Miller, W. R., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. American Psychologist, 58(1), 24-35.
Oberman, Y., & Josselson, R. (1996). Matrix of tensions: A model of mothering. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20(3), 341-359.
Powell, L. H., Shahabi, L., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and Spirituality: Linkages to Physical Health. American Psychologist, 58(1), 36-52.
Ray, R. E., & McFadden, S. H. (2001). The Web and the Quilt: Alternatives to the Heroic Journey Toward Spiritual Development. Journal of Adult Development, 8(4), 201-221.
Regnerus, M., Smith, C., & Fritsch, M. (2003). Religion in the Lives of American Adolescents: A review of the literature. Chapel Hill, NC: Odum Institute for Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Reimann, R. (1997). Does Biology Matter?: Lesbian Couples' Transition to parenthood and their division of labor. Qualitative Sociology, 20(2), 153- 185.
Robinson, E. (1985). The experience of transfiguration. Religious Education, 80(2), 246-254.
Rose, S. (2001). Is the term "Spirituality" a word that everyone uses, but nobody knows what anyone means by it? Journal of Contemporary Religion, 16(2), 193-207.
McMahon, M. (1995).
Engendering motherhood: Identity and self-transformation
in women's lives. Guilford Press.
Miller, L., & Kelley, B. S. (2005). Relationships of religiosity and spirituality with
mental health and psychopathology.
Handbook of the psychology of
religion and spirituality, 460-478.
Miller, L. (2006). Spirituality, health and medical care of children and
Southern medical journal,
Moloney, S. (2006). The spirituality of childbirth.
Moloney, S. (2007). Dancing with the wind: A methodological approach to
researching women’s spirituality around menstruation and
International Journal of Qualitative Methods,
Neill, J. (2002). Transcendence and transformation in the life patterns of women
living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Advances in Nursing Science,
Papathanassoglou, E. D., & Patiraki, E. I. (2003). Transformations of self: a
phenomenological investigation into the lived experience of survivors of
Nursing in Critical Care,
Ruddick, S. (1980). Maternal thinking.
Athan and Miller 253
Ruddick, S. (1983). Thinking about Mothering: and Putting Maternal Thinking to
Women's Studies Quarterly, 4-7.
Ruddick, S. (1995). Maternal thinking: toward a politics of peace. Boston: Beacon Press.
Spivak, L., Spivak, D., & Wistrand, K. (1993). New psychic phenomena related to normal childbirth. The European journal of psychiatry. Vol 7(4), Oct-Dec 1993, 239-243.
Spivak, D., Spivak, L., & Wistrand, K. (1994). Altered psychic states in physiological delivery: Definition of the problem. Human Physiology, 20(4), 314-318.
Spivak, L. I., Bechtereva, N. P., Spivak, D. L., Danko, S. G., & Wistrand, K. R. (1998). Gender specific altered states of consciousness. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 17(2), 181-185.
Tanyi, R. A. (2003). Towards clarification of the meaning of spirituality. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39(5), 500.
Thurer, S. (1994). The myths of motherhood: How culture reinvents the good mother (p. 381). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Trad, P. V. (1990). On becoming a mother: In the throes of developmental transformation. Psychoanalytic psychology, 7(3), 341-361.
Vaughan, F. (2002). What is Spiritual Intelligence? Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 42(2), 16-33.
Vaughn, B. J. (1983). Ecstatic components of childbirth: A psychological and phenomenological investigation. Birth Psychology Bulletin, 4(2), 33.
Vieten, C., Amorok, T., & Schlitz, M. M. (2006). I to we: The role of consciousness transformation in compassion and altruism. Zygon®, 41(4), 915-932.
Weaver, J., & Ussher, J. (1997). How motherhood changes life--A discourse analytic study with mothers of young children. Journal of Reproductive & Infant Psychology, 15(1), 51-68.
Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (2002). Spiritual development across the adult life course: Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Adult Development, 9(1), 79-94.
Seeman, T. E., Dubin, L. F., & Seeman, M. (2003). Religiosity/spirituality and
health: A critical review of the evidence for biological
Semenic, S. E., Callister, L. C., & Feldman, P. (2004). Giving birth: The voices of
Orthodox Jewish women living in Canada.
Journal of Obstetric,
Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing,
Smith, J. A. (1999). Towards a relational self: Social engagement during
pregnancy and psychological preparation for motherhood.
Journal of Social Psychology,
Smith, J. A. (1999). Identity development during the transition to motherhood: An
interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Journal of Reproductive and
Thomas, T. (2001). Becoming a mother: matrescence as spiritual formation.
Religious Education, 96(1), 88-105.
Wong, Y. J., Rew, L., & Slaikeu, K. D. (2006). A systematic review of recent
research on adolescent religiosity/spirituality and mental health.
in Mental Health Nursing,
To speak with a representative about our products and services or for technology inquiries, please call 1-720-490-5612.