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An exploration of the motherhood decision

Marklew, Hannah


Hannah Marklew



The portfolio thesis is separated into three parts: a meta-synthesis of qualitative research, an empirical study and appendices.

Part one is a meta-synthesis reviewing the published qualitative literature regarding the decision to remain childfree in women. The aim of the synthesis was to provide healthcare professionals with an in depth insight into the influences and consequences of the decision in order to inform aspects of their practice when working with childfree women, alongside infertile women and those contemplating the motherhood decision. Five broad themes were discovered from six papers eliciting that the childfree decision is multifaceted and individual. The findings are discussed in relation to clinical implications and potential future research.

Part two is an empirical study that explores the experience of the motherhood decision in women diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Eleven women were interviewed, and data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Though the study involved both women who had children and women who did not have children following diagnosis, several themes occurred across interviews with participants. Key implications for the aid of the decision making process within health care services are discussed.

Part three consists of appendices supporting both the meta-synthesis and the empirical study. It also includes a reflective statement detailing the process of the research from beginning to end.


Marklew, H. (2014). An exploration of the motherhood decision. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Psychological Health and Wellbeing, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 2014


Thesis (1.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Marklew, Hannah. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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