Motherhood is a historically and culturally located social role defined by the relationship between a woman and her children. These relationships may or may not be biologically based. Psychology has historically focused heavily on the influence of mothers on their children. Mothers were seen as the main socialization agents of children and thus blamed for their children’s emotional or behavioral problems. More recently, there has been a focus on understanding motherhood as a personal identity and as a constructed set of relationships, both experienced in a particular social context. This entry provides an overview of the psychological aspects related to motherhood, including beliefs about and representations of motherhood, the transition to motherhood, and the ways in which diverse mothers challenge the notion of one universal ...

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