Research Papers

Abstract

In this study, we apply the general inductive theory approach to explore factors that motivate mothers to participate in online communities (OCs) targeting maternal audience. Forty mothers were recruited to participate in in-depth interviews. We clustered the participants based on their level of OC participation and the age of their last-born child to elaborate on the stages of maternal role attainment process. The study results reveal that mothers who undergo different stages of the maternal role attainment process differ in their maternal behavior and in their motivations to participate online. Factors related to maternal identity were identified as both motivators and inhibitors of mothers’ OCs participation. The motivation-participation-performance framework was used to elaborate and discuss these factors and their utilitarian and hedonic character. Through our consideration of the specific online user group - mothers, this article adds to both: the literature on OCs and motherhood.

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