Evid Based Nurs 6:28 doi:10.1136/ebn.6.1.28
  • Qualitative

Mothers progressed through a 4 phase process to resume their own lives after having twins

 QUESTIONS: What fundamental social psychological problem do mothers of twins encounter during the first year after delivery? What process do mothers of twins use to overcome this problem?


Grounded theory.


New England, USA.


16 married mothers (mean age 32 y) of twins (mean age 8 mo) who were recruited from a Parents of Multiples Group that met monthly at a medical centre. 15 mothers were Caucasian, and 1 was African-American. 10 mothers were primaparas, and 6 were multiparas.


Data were collected using participant observation during the monthly Parents of Multiples Group meetings for 10 months and during home visits with the mothers. The mothers also participated in unstructured interviews that lasted 40 minutes to 1 hour and were audiotaped. Constant comparison involved simultaneously collecting, coding, and analysing data. Sampling continued until categories of a substantive theory of mothering twins were saturated.

Main findings

Life on hold was the basic social psychological problem for mothers of twins during the first …

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