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Can you help with my Bath-based health psychology study into loneliness and first time mothers?

(8 Posts)
newdocket Thu 09-Jun-16 10:02:48


I am a Health Psychology Masters student at Bath University undertaking my research project and dissertation. I’m also a mother to three primary school-aged children and have been a member of Mumsnet for 12 years.

A recent survey has found that 28% of first time mothers experience loneliness. The aim of this study is to explore and understand the experiences of loneliness in first time mothers.

I’m looking for first time mothers of babies between two and nine months to participate in the study. Participants need to live in the Bath area and have experienced feelings of loneliness since becoming a mother. Although loneliness and depression are sometimes associated, this study’s focus is on loneliness. This, coupled with my status as a student, means that I would not be able to recruit anyone with a medical diagnosis of post-natal depression.

Taking part in the study would involve a one-to-one interview with the project researcher to discuss your views and experiences of loneliness. The interview is expected to last around 45 minutes. This could take place at a location of your choice – your home, a public place such as a café or at the University of Bath. It would be absolutely fine to have your child with you at the interview.

The study has received ethical approval from the University of Bath and is in accordance with the British Psychological Society’s ethical guidelines. Your contribution would help to bring to life new mothers’ experiences of loneliness and could potentially inform future interventions to help new mothers who find themselves dealing with feelings of loneliness.
If you identify with the above and would like to take part in the study please contact me – Katharine – at

Thank you

newdocket Mon 13-Jun-16 08:46:45


situatedknowledge Mon 13-Jun-16 08:53:23

I can't help but perhaps if you find OUPS on FB and share what you've said here, you might find some. It is a closed group, but approvals are fairly quick. Good luck.

newdocket Mon 13-Jun-16 15:49:20

oooh thanks. OUPS as in ex OU? I did an OU degree and am already a member of a couple of groups but hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

TheImprobableGirl Mon 13-Jun-16 15:57:16

Hi newdocket
Unfortunately I'm not close enough to bath, and dd1 is now 5- but if you had questions that could be answered over email then I'd be happy to help.

Dd2 is just 2 and it is only really after having her that I realised how I felt first time round was not 'the norm'. I was incredibly lonely and felt isolate from friends and siblings that had no children (I was the eldest at 20 when I fell pregnant), this coupled with the baby groups being quite cliquey where I live, and being looked down on by late 20's and above mothers. It didn't help that I looked about 15 until I was 25 years old either smile

I think it is hard to have a 7month old + and actually realise that what you are feeling is loneliness and not baby-blues, depression, post-natal depression etc which are 'easier' to diagnose

I predict you will find some strong correlation between younger mothers and self imposed ostracism/intense loneliness!

Let me know if I can help at all, good luck with the studies nonetheless smile

shopaholic85 Mon 13-Jun-16 16:02:27

Hi newdocket. I think you might have more luck posting on the bathmums forum. Good luck!

newdocket Mon 13-Jun-16 18:00:45

Thanks TheImprobableGirl. I completely agree that there might be a particular ostracism that comes with being a younger mum, and with your comment about loneliness/PND. I have a hunch that loneliness is more common than the stats suggest because maybe people don't recognise it, or don't want to admit to it. Shopaholic85, I have posted on Bathmums and have had a couple of responses, agree this is likely to be a more effective route!

situatedknowledge Mon 13-Jun-16 18:43:40

OUPS is the OU psychological society. There will be more, have a look around, but OUPS (plus the regional ones - I think there is a south west one) are a start.

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