Maternal guilt

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/178767

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Rotkirch , A & Janhunen , K 2009 , ' Maternal guilt ' , Evolutionary Psychology , vol. 8 , no. 1 , pp. 90-106 . < http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP0890106.pdf >

Title: Maternal guilt
Author: Rotkirch, Anna; Janhunen, Kristiina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Date: 2009
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Evolutionary Psychology
ISSN: 1474-7049
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/178767
Abstract: The recent emphasis on humans as cooperative breeders invites new research on human family dynamics. In this paper we look at maternal guilt as a consequence of conditional maternal investment. Solicited texts written by Finnish mothers with under school-aged children in 2007 (n = 63) described maternal emotions perceived as difficult and forbidden. Content analysis of guilt-inducing situations showed that guilt arose from diverging interest and negotiations between the mother and child (i.e., classic parent-offspring conflict). Also cultural expectations of extensive and perpetual high-quality maternal investment or the “motherhood myth” induced guilt in mothers. We argue that guilt plays an important role in maternal-investment regulation. Maternal guilt is predicted to vary with social and cultural context but also to show universal characteristics due to parent-offspring conflict and allomaternal manipulation. Results are preliminary and intended to stimulate research into the mechanisms, gender differences and cultural variations of guilt and other social emotions in human parenting.
Subject: motherhood
guilt
cooperative breeding
motherhood myth
human parenting
PARENTAL INVESTMENT
SURVIVAL
GROWTH
GENDER
CONFLICT
CHILDREN
FATHERS
EMPATHY
514 Sociology
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