“I thought my heart would burst”: The role of ultrasound technology on expectant grandmotherhood

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Issue Date
2010-02
Authors
Harpel, Tammy S.
Hertzog, Jodie
Advisor
Citation

Harpel, Tammy S. and Jodie Hertzog. 2010. “I thought my heart would burst”: The role of ultrasound technology on expectant grandmotherhood. -- Journal of Family Issues 01/2010; 31(2):257-274.

Abstract

Using both quantitative and qualitative data, this study investigates the role of ultrasound technology on feelings of attachment and emotions experienced by expectant grandmothers. A total of 109 expectant grandmothers complete the 84-question Web-based survey. A 12-item scale is used to assess the impact of ultrasound on attachment. As expected, participants who attend the ultrasound exam are more likely than those who merely see pictures or video to report that the ultrasound increased their feelings of attachment. In addition, the results suggest that there is a small but significant negative relationship between number of grandchildren and feelings of attachment. Content analysis of open-ended questions reveal that ultrasound technology is an exciting, bonding experience that makes the fetus more real and produces feelings of awe and pride. Results are discussed in terms of their similarity to those found among expectant mothers and fathers, as well as implications for medical protocol.

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