Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The experience of giving birth and how a woman perceives it can impact her self-esteem, feelings of accomplishment, and her mothering capabilities (Mercer, 1985; Nichols, 1996; Simkin, 1996). Among numerous variables influencing the experience of childbirth, feelings of control are key determinants (Nichols, 1996). Only one recent qualitative study (Mackey. 1995) specifically queried women about what control was to them. Therefore a qualitative grounded theory analysis was used to investigate the concept of control as perceived by childbearing women using a convenience sample. King’s (198 1) systems framework was used as the theoretical foundation for the investigation. The design of the investigation was retrospective with a grounded theory approach using taped, semi-structured interviews and open-ended questions. Lincoln and Guba (1985) provided guidance for rigor. The sample consisted of five women with a vaginal delivery of healthy-term, singleton infants within the past 25 to 30 months. With constant comparative analysis five major categories were identified, consisting of getting-through-contractions, get-to-a-point, can't-get-through, regain, and knowledge. The core category was identified as a process of Getting-Through-Contractions-Within-a-Framework-of-Knowledge. Schematic and theoretical models were offered to help describe the process. A substantive theory was presented, along with recommendations for nursing research, practice, theory development, and education.


Dr. Karyolyn Kells

Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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