Dual role transition among first time pregnant social work student trainees

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Since most social work student trainees are women of child bearing age, every year at least some of them become pregnant in the course of their fieldwork. This study investigates the dual transitions of becoming a mother while becoming a professional among 10 married social work student trainees whose fieldwork training coincided with their first pregnancy. The findings obtained from a cross-case thematic analysis of the contents of semi-structured interviews show that these trainees come to their fieldwork preoccupied with their pregnancy, torn between that and their clients, and feeling guilty and, in some cases, professionally inadequate as a result. They also show that some of them cope with their pregnancies by pushing themselves to over-function in matters that do not involve direct client interaction. The paper ends with practical recommendations to help pregnant trainees free up room for their clients' needs by providing them with opportunities to talk about their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-728
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010


  • Counter-transference
  • Dual role transition
  • Fieldwork training
  • Pregnancy
  • Social work student
  • Transference


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