Contemporary Impingements on Mothering
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- Tummala-Narra, P. Am J Psychoanal (2009) 69: 4. doi:10.1057/ajp.2008.37
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Mothering in contemporary Western society needs to be understood in the context of a rapidly changing social context. Increased geographic mobility, improved access to child-related information through the media, and scientific and technological progress have contributed to significant shifts in cultural views on mothering. Several contextual impingements on mothering, including changing family structure, economic pressures, decreased social support, cultural ideals of the perfect mother, and increased awareness of interpersonal and global trauma impact mothers’ internal worlds. These societal changes often reinforce mothers’ fear of losing their children and an idealization of intensive mothering, and evoke challenges in reorganizing their sense of personal identity. Implications for psychoanalytic theory and practice, and specifically the need to integrate individual and contextual forces related to experiences of mothers will be explored.