Birth decisions and post-immigration experiences of latina immigrant mothers in Asturias, Spain

  1. Navarro Berrocal, Elizabeth
Supervised by:
  1. María Esther Álvarez López Director
  2. Hans Peter van den Broek Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Oviedo

Fecha de defensa: 10 January 2022

  1. Filología Inglesa, Francesa y Alemana

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 702894 DIALNET


This study was motivated by the need to better understand the post-immigration experiences and situations of mothers who had immigrated to Spain from Latin American countries. To fulfill this need, 13 mothers and expectant mothers who had migrated from Latin American countries to Spain were interviewed in Asturias. The purpose of the interviews was to determine in what ways cultural factors influenced the women’s birth decisions and views of motherhood and how they were getting on in Spain, including learning about their post-immigration challenges and opportunities. As the researcher, I asked the women questions about their reasons for immigrating to Spain, the support they had since immigrating, what factors they took into account in deciding to give birth, their views on the mother’s role in Spain compared to their country of origin, whether they had experienced being stereotyped in Spain, their pregnancy medical care, and their attitude toward living in Asturias. Follow-up questions were also asked as appropriate. The women spoke candidly about their perspectives on being an immigrant from Latin America, a woman, and a mother in Spain, revealing a wide range of experiences, beliefs, attitudes, concerns, and advantages regarding their immigration. Their responses to questions were analyzed using qualitative methods to determine categories or themes that their answers reflected. Analysis revealed eight categories with several subcategories. The findings of the study are significant by providing primary information on the birth decisions of Latina immigrant mothers, their views of being a mother, and their perceptions about their lives in Spain. Though statistical information on immigration is important to gather and report, studies that focus on the perceptions and experiences of individual immigrants are also necessary because they provide a deeper understanding of what life is like in Spain for immigrant populations. The meaning for the women of their post-immigration experiences in Spain, support from family and others, pregnancy decisions, and role as a mother can best be determined by questioning them about these issues and providing them ample time to respond. In addition, qualitative data is a good fit for the two main theoretical frameworks that help guide this study. One of these is identity theory, which emphasizes how identity is formed by social processes. The other is existential philosophy and psychology, which underscore the concepts of free choice, personal meaning, and responsibility, and helps in viewing the Latinas from the psychological perspective. The theoretical framework of intersectionality is also called upon to help better understand some of the study’s results.