Childbirth -- Psychological aspects.
Social perception in children.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study is to describe six-to twelve-year-old children's views of childbirth using words and drawings of children who were present when a baby was born in order to understand children's conceptualization of birth. As background to the study, the accessibility of childbirth to children through time and space was reviewed in the Human Relations Area Files. The information revealed cultural units both allowing and forbidding attendance of children at birth. Interviews and drawings were used to collect data from 14 informants. Audiotape-recordings of the interviews were transcribed, analyzed and organized into meaningful categories, which were validated by six key informants. The categories represented the knowledge used by children to interpret childbirth and included: people who do things at birth, steps in a baby being born, things people do at birth, best parts of being there, worst parts of being there, things that are gross at birth, things that are scary at birth, and things for kids to know about being there. The relationships of the categories were discussed in themes inferred from the data by the researcher. The themes identified were: I never seen it before; the first time you don't know; it might not be scary for you, but it was for me; the more often you see it, the less it bothers you; dads, kids and ladies help; I can't stand to miss it; it's kind of gross for the person who has to watch; and you learn by being there. The themes are discussed in relation to the research questions, health care and concepts that guided the study (childbirth as a sociocultural event, culture of childhood, child's-eye view, and cognitive development). Health professionals, especially nurses, have the opportunity to prepare parents and children for birth, to facilitate family-centered birthing practices and to minimize the strains related to life processes, such as birth and development. Childbirth through children's eyes communicates the birth event as a situational crisis as well as a developmental opportunity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College