Critical Review of Theory-Maternal Role Attainment
Mercer’s (1984) Maternal Role Attainment (MRA) theory was built upon Rubin’s (1967) earlier work on attainment of the maternal role. Maternal role attainment is defined as “a process in which the mother achieves competence in the role and integrates the mothering behaviors into her established role set, so that she is comfortable in her identity as a mother” (Mercer, 1984, p. 198). Mercer has extensively studied the process of MRA with a focus on mothers of normal newborns.
Purpose of Article
According to Miles, Holditch-Davis, Burchinal, and Brunssen, (2011), one of the purposes of their study was to identify the most ...view middle of the document...
The major concepts related to this study include maternal identity, maternal competence and maternal presence. The authors identified characteristics of the infant system as functional maturity and severity of the child’s illness. Characteristics of the maternal system included illness-related distress, satisfaction with family, marital status, educational level, and ethnicity (Miles et al., 2011). Characteristics of the infant and maternal systems impact mother-infant interactions.
According to the study, maternal identity was influenced only by worry. Maternal presence was only influenced by infant alertness. However maternal competence was related to infant alertness, parental role alteration stress during hospitalization, education and marital status (Miles et al., 2011). Referents include maternal confidence in role, the amount of participation in care activities for the infant, physical closeness to the infant, the quality of care given and interaction with the infant.
Theoretical Definitions and Empirical Referents
Maternal identity is defined by the authors as “the mothers’ perceptions and feelings of self as...