CHILDBEARING EXPERIENCES OF ABUSED HISPANIC WOMEN

Authors

  • Kathie Records RN, PhD,

    Corresponding author
      Intercollegiate College of Nursing, Washington State University College of Nursing, W. 2917 Ft. Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224-5291.
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    • Kathie Records is an associate professor at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing, teaching childbearing theory and clinical, research, and family nursing. She has current practice experience with labor and delivery patients.

  • Michael Rice ARNP, PhD

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    • Michael Rice is an associate professor at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing and director of the Medically Indigent Rural Access program. He maintains a private practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.


Intercollegiate College of Nursing, Washington State University College of Nursing, W. 2917 Ft. Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224-5291.

ABSTRACT

Previous research has documented that abused childbearing women have longer and more difficult labors than non-abused women. Prevalence of abuse differs depending on the ethnic group involved. Hispanic women experience higher rates of abuse and endure higher rates before reporting abuse than do Caucasian women. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of childbearing for abused Hispanic women to provide guidance for clinical practice and further research. Cognitive dissonance theory guided the study. A sample of seven abused Hispanic women was recruited from a rural prenatal clinic. Criteria for selection of subjects included self-identification as Hispanic, less than 24 months postpartum, disclosure of abuse status, and willingness to be interviewed in English or Spanish. An acculturation scale and demographic form were completed. Interviews were conducted individually, and data were analyzed by using Van Kaam's 12-step psycho-phenomenologic technique. Findings indicated that subjects experienced the normal responses associated with having a baby. However, the women also demonstrated a kindled neuroendocrine trauma response that was based on, and often similar to, their prior abuse experiences. The kindled emotional response was triggered by the normative events of childbearing. Understanding of the childbearing experiences of abused Hispanic women will facilitate the development of cultural-specific interventions that may ease the difficulties associated with birth for these women.

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