Factors Affecting the Interaction Based on Compassion and Shame in Mother-Child Relationship: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student, Department of Psychology, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Psychology, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran


Introduction: The first years of life are a critical period for a child due to the development of basic functions such as behavior, emotions, and motivation. The child needs an environment conducive to growth and development. This environment is built through effective parental care. The present study aimed to identify the factors affecting compassion or shame in mother-child interaction.
Methods: The study was an applied one in terms of its objectives and qualitative as a grounded theory method was used for data collection. The participants were 12 mothers with 2 to 7-year-old children selected via theoretical sampling. The data were collected using in-depth and exploratory interviews with the participants. The collected data were recorded, coded, and placed into main categories. Afterward, the initial codes were identified and the categories addressing the mother-child interaction based on compassion and shame were identified using axial coding.
Results: Analysis of the qualitative data revealed that the mother-child interaction includes categories such as “parenting styles, induction of compassion, induction of shame, fear of compassion, receiving compassion from others, self-compassion, and coping styles”.
Conclusion: The findings of the present study can contribute to developing training programs for promoting compassion-based mother-child interaction, preventing the induction of shame by the mother, and improving the mother-child relationship. Counselors, psychologists, nurses, and midwives can also use the insights from this study to develop training programs for mothers.



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