This work provides a look at the experience of mothers whose diverse life circumstances put them outside the realm of the traditional "good mother". The chapters portray women whose mothering is often maligned, misunderstood or ignored - mothers of exceptional children, adolescents and biracial children; mothers with HIV/AIDS; immigrant, lesbian, homeless, single, adoptive and teen mothers; African American mothers on welfare; and mothers in prison. Using first-person narrative, focus group data, qualitative research and clinical interviewing, these stories challenge dominant cultural stereotypes. The volume provides a way of reframing clinical practice, developmental theory, and public policy away from blaming mothers and toward understanding and respecting their unique adaptations to specific, often difficult, societal demands.
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