Raising Adolescent Children as a Developmental Task of Iranian Middle-aged Mothers: A Qualitative Study

Int J Community Based Nurs Midwifery. 2022 Apr;10(2):120-133. doi: 10.30476/IJCBNM.2021.90710.1726.


Background: Most parents consider adolescence to be the most difficult stage of parenting. Parental practice is a determining factor in adolescents' outcomes. Mothers play the main role of parenting in Iran. Coinciding the transition of adolescence with the transition of middle-aged mothers can affect the mothers' parenting practice. The present study aimed at explaining the Iranian mothers' practice in parenting an adolescent child.

Methods: This qualitative conventional content analysis was conducted from July 2018 to November 2019 in Kashan. 21 in-depth semi-structured interviews with mothers of adolescent children were performed using a purposive sampling method. The data were analyzed through conventional content analysis. Data collection and analysis were performed simultaneously using MAXQDAv10 software.

Results: Regarding the study objectives, two themes and six main categories were identified. The theme of 'laying the groundwork for upbringing' was detected by two main categories: 'meeting the needs and 'effective interaction with the adolescent'; also, the theme of 'individual-social capacity building' was explained by four main categories: 'helping to gain independence', 'modeling individual-social behavior', 'socializing the adolescent', and 'preparing to accept future roles'.

Conclusion: Mothers' practice was mainly focused on adolescents' independence, college education, career prospects, and marriage preparation and respect for older adults. Consistent with this transition to modernity, and contrary to the collectivist values of Iranian society, mothers' practice was in line with developing adolescents' independence and building their self-confidence, which is close to the authoritative parenting style.

Keywords: Adolescent; Middle-aged; Mothers; Parenting; Qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers*
  • Parenting*
  • Parents
  • Qualitative Research