Impact of Ideal Motherhood Discourse on Social Media on New Mothers’ Self-discrepancy and Postnatal Depressive Symptoms

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Conference

Title69th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA19)
LocationWashington Hilton Hotel
PlaceUnited States
CityWashington
Period24 - 28 May 2019

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between exposure to ideal motherhood discourse on social media and new mothers’ maternal actual-ideal discrepancy and postnatal moods. Previous studies have indicated that mothers’ postnatal depressive symptoms are mainly related to their actual-ideal mothering discrepancy. Based on Social comparison theory and Self-discrepancy theory, this article assumed that mothers’ ideal discrepancy might be affected by the prevalent ideal mothering discourse on social media, which is mainly represented by parenting content displayed by parenting influencers, celebrity mothers and friends who are mothers. The questionnaire survey, conducted with a sample of 141 mothers within 12 months postpartum from mainland China, revealed that new mothers’ exposure to parenting content displayed by parenting influencers, celebrity mothers and their friends who were mothers were all associated with their comparisons with these people. However, only new mothers’ comparisons with their friends who were mothers positively predicted their maternal actual-ideal discrepancy. In addition, unlike our expectations, no sufficient evidence was found for the associations between mothers’ actual-ideal discrepancy and their postnatal depressive symptoms. Implications and future works are discussed in depth.

Research Area(s)

  • Ideal motherhood discourse, parenting content, social media, social comparison, self-discrepancy, postnatal depression

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Impact of Ideal Motherhood Discourse on Social Media on New Mothers’ Self-discrepancy and Postnatal Depressive Symptoms. / Sun, Yanqing; Chia, Stella.

2019. Paper presented at 69th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA19), Washington, District of Columbia, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review