Dissociation as a defensive strategy in pregnant low-income women : a review of the literature

Van der Spuy, Tanya Monique (2002)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This paper is an attempt to explore the appropriateness of the use of the specific psychological paradigm of dissociation as a possible response to pregnancy in lowincome women. Low-income women who fail to acknowledge their pregnancies may do so in an attempt to defend against feelings of fear, anxiety and helplessness engendered by the crisis of pregnancy. A dissociative response may serve to protect the expectant mother from conscious awareness of the full impact of what is happening, in other words, to provide psychological escape when physical escape is not possible. Such a response may initially be adaptive in that it provides these women with a means of coping. Dissociative processes allow, in the context of an inescapable crisis, the economizing of already limited physical and psychological resources. However, the prolonged use of dissociative strategies during pregnancy may have far-reaching implications, and, as such, be a hindrance to adaptive functioning.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om ondersoek in te stel na die geskiktheid van die gebruik van die spesifieke psigiese meganisme van dissosiasie as 'n moontlike reaksie tot swangerskap in lae-inkomste vroue. Lae-inkomste vroue mag hul swangerskappe ontken in 'n poging om verweer te bied teen gevoelens van vrees, angs en hulpeloosheid wat deur swangerskap teweegebring word. 'n Dissosiatiewe respons mag dien om die verwagtende moeder te beskerm teen die volle impak van die gebeurtenis, met ander woorde, om psigiese ontvlugting te bied waar fisiese ontvlugting onmoontlik is. Welke respons mag aanvanklik adaptief wees in dat dit 'n manier van streshantering is. Dissosiatiewe meganismes bevorder, in die konteks van 'n onvermydelike krisis, die besparing van reeds beperkte fisiese en psigiese bronne. Die langtermyn gebruik van dissosiatiewe strategieë gedurende swangerskap mag egter verreikende gevolge inhou, en as sulks adaptiewe funksionering strem.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52805
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