Behavioural Expectations and Behaviour Change in Pregnancy: Experiences of Young Single Women

Title: Behavioural Expectations and Behaviour Change in Pregnancy: Experiences of Young Single Women
Authors: Reszel, Jessica
Date: 2013
Abstract: Background: Pregnancy has been described as a period when women experience heightened behavioural surveillance. Young single women have commonly been described as a population who engage in high risk behaviours during pregnancy (e.g. smoking), yet they are also a population who often has access to fewer resources to make expected behaviour changes during pregnancy. Purpose: To explore the experiences of young single pregnant and parenting women regarding behavioural expectations and behaviour change during pregnancy. Research Questions: (1) What are the perceived behavioural expectations for young single women during pregnancy? (2) Who or what reinforces the perceived behavioural expectations? (3) To which behavioural expectations do young single women conform (or resist) and why? Methods: Nine single pregnant or parenting women between the ages of 15 and 24 were recruited from two urban community health settings between November 2011 and January 2012. Data was collected through individual semi-structured photo-elicitation interviews and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The main findings of the study include: (1) young single pregnant women are subject to a multitude of health and social behavioural expectations, (2) young single women experience internal and external behavioural surveillance during pregnancy, and (3) young single pregnant women experience these behavioural expectations as a tension between the potential for opportunity and oppression. Implications for Practice: By understanding young single pregnant women’s perceptions of how they are expected to behave, who and what reinforces such expectations, and how young women conform to or resist such expectations, the results of this project will inform the development of effective individual, community, and systemic level interventions and better inform interactions with young pregnant women.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -