Publication Date: 
Page Count: 
Starting Page: 
Price: $10.00
Pregnancy, a major life transition, significantly impacts aspects of a woman?s physical, psychological and social self. Theoretical perspectives of pregnancy are compared in terms of their utility. Using the theoretical frameworks of anthropologists van Gennep and Turner pregnancy is viewed as liminal, a space between social structures. Passage through pregnancy to parenthood is explored in its social context as a rite of passage. Viewing pregnancy and birth as a liminal phase provides a valuable framework for understanding normative and non-normative pregnancy experiences. Case studies are presented, with application and analysis illustrating the experience of liminality, and its inherent rituals and communitas.

Benedek, T. (1970). The psychobiology of pregnancy. In E. J. Anthony & T. Bendedek (Eds.) Parenthood: Its psychology and psychopathology (pp. 137-151). Boston: Little, Brown &Co.

Bibring, G. L. (1959). Some considerations of the psychological processes in pregnancy. Psychoanalytic study of the child, vol. 14. (pp. 113-121). Cambridge, MA: The Harvard Medical School.

Bridges, W. (1980). Transitions. Reading, M A: Addison- Wesley.

Colman, S. D., & Colman, L. L. (1971). Pregnancy: The psychological experience. New York: Herder & Herder

Colman, S. D., & Colman, L. L. (1973/1974). Pregnancy as an altered state of consciousness. Birth and the family journal, 1(1), 7-11.

Côté-Arsenault, D. Y. (1995). Tasks of pregnancy and anxiety in pregnancy after perinatal loss. Dissertation Abstracts International, 56-12, 6669.

Côté-Arsenault, D. & Donato, K. (2007). Restrained expectations in late pregnancy following loss. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 36(6), 550-557.

Côté-Arsenault, D., Donato, K, & Earl, S. S. (2006). Watching and worrying: Early pregnancy after loss experiences. MCN The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 31, 356-363.

Côté-Arsenault, D., & Marshall, R. (2000). One foot in-one foot out: Weathering the storm of pregnancy after perinatal loss. Research in Nursing & Health, 23, 473-485.

Cunningham, G., Leveno, K. J., Bloom, S. L., Hauth, J. C9 Gilstrap, L. C, Wenstrom, K. D. (2005). Williams obstetrics. New York, ??: McGraw-Hill Professional

Davis-Floyd, R. E. (1992). Birth as an American rite of passage. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

Deutsch, R. T. (1945). The psychology of women (Vol. 2). New York, ??: Grune & Stratton.

Layne, L. L. (2003). Motherhood lost: a feminist account of pregnancy loss in America. New York, NY: Routledge.

Mercer, R. T. (2004). Becoming a mother versus maternal role attainment. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36(S), 267-232.

Meléis, A. L, Sawyer, L. M., Im, E., Hilfinger Messias, D. K., & Schumacher, K. (2000). Experiencing transitions: An emerging middle -range theory. Advances in Nursing Science, 23(1), 12-28.

Meyer, J. H. F., & Land, R. (2005). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2): Epistemlological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning. Higher Education 49, 373-388.

Negative space. (2008). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved July 09, 2008, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online:

Rising, S.S. (1998). Centering pregnancy: An interdisciplinary model of empowerment. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 43(1), 46-54.

Rubin, R. (1984). Maternal identity and the maternal experience. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Schumacher, K. L., & Meléis, A. I. (1994). Transitions: A central concept in nursing. Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 26(2), 119-127.

Thomas, C. L. (Ed.) (1993). Tabefs cyclopedic medical dictionary. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Turner, V. (1977). The ritual process: structure and anti-structure. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.

Turner, V. (1987). Betwixt and between: The liminal period in rites of passage. In I. C. Mahdi, S. Foster, & M. Little (Eds.) Betwixt and between: patterns of and feminine initiation (pp. 3-19). La Salle, IL: Open Court. (Original work published 1967)

van der Hart, O. (1978). Rituals in psychotherapy: Transitions and continuity. New York: Irvington.

van Gennep, A. (1960). The rites of passage. (M.B. Vizedom and G.L. Caffee, Trans.) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1908)

Related Content::