Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Lahnna Catalino

Reader 2

Professor Stacey Wood

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This study will compare queer postpartum mothers to their heterosexual counterparts on quality of maternal postpartum bonding in order to address a gap in literature pertaining to queer mothers’ bonding experience. Data will be collected from 481 mothers during the 0-4 month postpartum period. All participants will complete online self-report questionnaires assessing their quality of postpartum bonding, levels of maternal self-efficacy, as well as their current levels of social support. More difficult bonding with infant is predicted for queer mothers in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. Lower levels of maternal self-efficacy (MSE) are also expected among queer mothers, which is predicted to mediate the connection between maternal sexual orientation and postpartum bonding quality. Social support is predicted to attenuate the connection between queer parenthood status and lower levels of MSE. This study is intended to advance the literature’s understanding of sexual orientation’s impact on postpartum bonding quality, and how this impacts queer mothers’ and parents’ experience of parenthood more broadly, which has not yet been studied.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.