Symbolic interactionism and nurse-mother communication in the neonatal intensive care unit

Lisa Marie Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The admission of an infant to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has the potential to cause significant stress for the mothers of these infants. Researchers have found that nurse-mother communication has the potential to either aid or hinder the mother's adaptation to the NICU environment. These communication patterns are relatively complex in nature and therefore warrant further investigation. Symbolic interactionism (SI) is a theoretical framework that offers the potential to direct such an investigation. The purpose of this article is to examine nurse-mother communication patterns in the NICU through the theoretical lens of SI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-229
Number of pages14
JournalResearch and Theory for Nursing Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009



  • Mothering
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Neonate
  • Nurse-mother relationship
  • Nurse-patient communication
  • Symbolic interactionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory

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