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Too Old to Become a Parent? A qualitative study.


   Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education

  Dr Melania Calestani, Dr Kirstie Coxon  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Uncertainty and risk perceptions in relation to pregnancy and birth are complex processes based on multiple factors. There are two main discourses within childbirth. On one side, the biomedical model regards birth as risky, whereas the social model regards pregnancy risk as a concept constructed from multiple cultural and personal factors. The age of future mothers and birthing people may also have an impact when it comes to healthcare professionals’ perceptions of risk/uncertainty in maternity care. These perceptions may have a profound impact on women and birthing people’s experiences of their transition to parenthood.

The proposed study will look at risk and uncertainty within a feminist/gender studies perspective. It will examine the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care of women and birthing people who have become parents after the age of 40. The aim is to analyse how mothers and birthing people perceive their process into parenthood in the midst of discourses concerning their age and the medical risks attached to it.

This PhD project would suit a clinical academic who would like to develop collaborative research relationships. The project may include a qualitative approach, exploring women and birthing people’s experiences through life-history approaches and creative research methods such as diaries, scrapbooks and/or digital technologies (audio diaries).

We welcome PhD applications on similar themes to those proposed. We are committed to creating a workplace that promotes and values diversity. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

You will normally need a postgraduate masters degree or a first/upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to your proposed research programme. Please check the relevant faculty's research degrees webpage for specific requirements.


Funding Notes

The Faculty is offering up to four competitively funded studentships in 2021/22. These will include six years of both an annual, part-time, UK stipend at UKRI rate and part-time UK PhD fees, if awarded. Applications will be internally assessed as part of our Centre of Applied Health and Social Care Research studentships competition.
To be considered for this studentship, candidates must apply for this project and have been notified of a conditional/unconditional offer for the Kingston PhD programme to start during the academic year 2021/22.
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