Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Christina Yoshimura


communication, construction, expectations, mothers, narrative


University of Montana


The construction of expectations has long been relegated and confined to psychological inquiry. This creates a deficit in research that necessitates a qualitative examination of how interpersonal discourse reflects and constructs mothering expectations. This study seeks to describe the relational construction of expectations of the ideal mother. Elicited dyadic interactions were analyzed on three major dimensions, including linguistics, communications, and narratives. Linguistic analysis revealed that conversations tended to be more positively valenced, uncertain, and presently oriented. Additionally, these findings gave a gross description of negotiation strategies in which participants engaged when coming to agreement. Participants engaging in the narrative negotiation constructed stories with repetitive themes including the qualities (―who a mother is‖) and actions (―what a mother does‖) of a mother.

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