Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Carina Heckert

Second Advisor

Jeremy Slack


AbstractPrenatal and postpartum women of the border region of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez have been experiencing multiple forms of family disruption due to the twenty-month border closure in an attempt to contain the COVID pandemic, partners having to find jobs far away from home because of economic concerns, and fear of familial disruption due to the threat of deportation of partners or family members. The purpose of the study is to explore the perceived effects of these types of family disruptions and how they are shaping maternal health in COVID times. This project included the analysis of fifteen interviews with pregnant and postpartum women recruited through a clinical context as part of a larger ongoing study (September 2020-present) on emotional distress and maternal health in the border area. This study analyzed interviews in which family disruption during pregnancy was a salient theme. Pregnant and postpartum women reported an overlap of how various forms of family disruptions generated additional types of stressors and health concerns. The perceived effects of family disruptions experienced by pregnant and postpartum women and how they are shaping maternal health become even more visible through the sociological frameworks of legal violence, structural violence, and symbolic violence. The findings suggest that expectant mothersâ?? health is affected by the perceived effects of family disruptions and the stressors that those disruptions represent. More research is needed to develop appropriate interventions to mitigate the effects of family disruptions.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

50 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Donna Maldonado