A grounded theory of protecting recovery during transition to motherhood.

  • Ingrid Brudenell
  • Published 1997 in The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse


The purpose of this study was to explore women's concurrent experiences of alcohol/drug recovery and transition to parenthood. The study used a qualitative design to explore and understand women's experiences of recovery from alcohol/drug dependence during pregnancy and early parenting. Observation, diary entries, and intensive interviews were used for data collection from a purposive sample. Eleven women, who self-identified as recovering alcoholics/addicts and were either pregnant or had an infant younger than 12 months, participated in the study. Findings from descriptive analyses were compared with concepts in the literature about the processes of alcohol/drug recovery, relapse prevention and transition to motherhood. Balancing emerged as the core concept, a process that explained how women successfully integrated the recovery and motherhood processes into their identity. The women used strategies learned in the process of alcohol/drug recovery to balance between alcohol/drug recovery and motherhood. A part of balancing was the use of the protecting strategy in unique ways during pregnancy and early parenting to safeguard both recovery and motherhood. Understanding concepts and processes associated with the concurrent experiencing of recovery and parenthood will be useful to all disciplines that seek to improve the health of mothers, infants, and families. This study demonstrates the complexity of the women's experiences and suggests implications for practice, theory, research, and policy.

Cite this paper

@article{Brudenell1997AGT, title={A grounded theory of protecting recovery during transition to motherhood.}, author={Ingrid Brudenell}, journal={The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse}, year={1997}, volume={23 3}, pages={453-66} }