A CNSM APPROACH TO THE TRANSITION FROM BEING A STAY-AT-HOME MOTHER TO A WORKING MOTHER AFTER THE DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
This research studies post-stay-at-home mothers from a traditional nuclear family who enter the workforce after divorce. While family communication scholars have explored topics surrounding divorce, very little about how mothers make sense of their transition from being stay-at-home mothers (SAHMs) to working mothers (WMs) after divorce.
Through an interdisciplinary approach, this research uses Transitional Theory (Anderson et al., 2012; Schlossberg, 1981; Schlossberg, 2008) and Communicated Narrative Sense Making (CNSM) (Koenig Kellas, 2018; Koenig Kellas & Horstman, 2014) to understand how mothers make sense of their experiences during this change in their lives. It further studies the participants through mixed methods, using the Shift and Persist Scale (Chen et al., 2015) and Sense of Control Scale (Lachman & Weaver, 1998a, 1998b) along with reflexive thematic analysis (TA) (Braun & Clarke; 2021; 2006).
The results of the qualitative section of this study brought forth seven themes displayed in the realms of sense-making during transition. These themes are Belief themes: Out of control, taking back life, and finding a place to belong; the Value themes: Finding the wherewithal to survive, discovering and reclaiming self, and accepting of accomplishments; and the Meaning-Making theme: Recognizing resolve.
The quantitative results of this study indicated that there were significantly higher levels of persistence and personal mastery with those who told narratives framed positively as opposed to those who told narratives framed negatively. There was, however, no significance in their ability to shift or in their perceived constraints.
- Master of Arts
- Fort Wayne