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Estudos de Psicologia (Natal)

versión On-line ISSN 1678-4669


FALCKE, Denise  y  WAGNER, Adriana. Mothers and stepmothers: social myths and self-concept. Estud. psicol. (Natal) [online]. 2000, vol.5, n.2, pp.421-441. ISSN 1678-4669.

This is a research about the social myths related to feminine roles of a mother and stepmother and the self-concept of these women. The sample was 50 mothers and 50 stepmothers who lived in Porto Alegre/RS. The instrument was composed of three (3) parts: information data, the social myth's scale and the self-concept scale of Butler and Haigh. The statistical data analysis showed that mothers as well as stepmothers still have the historical view that mother is the responsible for the well-being of the family. Therefore, it is still expected from mothers as well as from stepmothers, that they should carry out their functions as a caretaker, teacher and affective support. Besides this aspect being similar to mothers and stepmothers, in the comparison with the items of the self-concept scale, it showed, that the mothers consider themselves more balanced inspite considering themselves also more as a slave, trusting their own emotions less and trying not to think of their problems, meanwhile the stepmothers prove to be more desperate, considering themselves more unsuccessful and having a strong tendency to consider their lives more confused. Besides, considering only the step-mother group, it was possible to see, that the stepmothers, who have children, present a higher index of depression and that the stepmothers, who have a widower as a companion, have a higher social self-concept.

Palabras clave : Mother; Stepmother; Social myths; Self-concept.

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