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Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2012 Aug;46(4):929-34.

[Maternal care of the premature child: a study of the social representations].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Saúde, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, Jequié, BA, Brasil.


The objective of this study was to identify the social representations of mothers regarding the maternal care provided to a premature child. The participants were 30 mothers of premature infants, who attended three early stimulation classes in Jequié-BA. The Free Words Association Test was used for data collection. Participants were asked to say five words about provision of maternal care to the premature child and to rank the words according to importance. The data were processed using EVOC 2003, generating a four-place chart. In the upper left corner, the words love and affection appeared; in the upper right, anguish, attention, affection, and patience; in the lower left, fear and prevention; and in the lower right, joy, devotion, dependence, difficulty, experience, protection, responsibility, and overcoming. Love and care appear to be the center of the representations. Love refers to the exercise of the mother role. Care may represent the wish to find improvements for their child.

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