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Motherless Daughters

  • By: Marcella Bush Trevino
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Motherless daughters is a term that can encompass both those whose mothers died due to illness, accident, or suicide as well as those whose mothers are alive but have no contact with their children. The psychological effects of status as a motherless daughter have recently become a popular subject of scholarly research. Research has shown a strong relation between the severity of the impact on a motherless daughter's psychological development and the age at which she lost her mother. Maternal deprivation syndrome examines the effect of the absence of a mother figure on infants. Greater psychological difficulties also result from losing a mother to a traumatic or accidental death or to suicide, which can spur feelings of rejection. The psychological issues motherless daughters face are ...

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