Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type




First Advisor

Joni Walton

Second Advisor

Lisa McMahon

Third Advisor

Jamie Dolan


Background: Since 1990, the rates of labor induction in the United States have doubled. In 2006, 22.5% of births (1 in every 5) were induced. The rates of cesarean deliveries have simultaneously risen, reaching an all-time high of 32.3% of births in 2008, nearly a 50% increase since 1996. Numerous studies have indicated a strong correlation between labor induction and a heightened risk for cesarean section. Purpose: This qualitative research study aims to explore the basic social processes of elective labor induction for women who have had an elective induction. Sample and Setting: Three women ages 29 to 34 who underwent elective labor induction within the past five years participated in this study. Method and Analysis: Data was collected through semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews. Tapes were transcribed and analyzed. Classic grounded theory analysis was utilized for analysis of the data. Coding was done for similarities and differences using constant comparative analysis. Results: Analysis yielded six major categories (a) getting ready for birth, (b) deciding to induce birth, (c) undergoing the induction process, (d) trusting the physicians, (e) enduring struggles, (f) valuing nurses. The core category of this study was "Being Induced." Implications: These research findings provide an insight into the basic social processes of elective labor induction. By understanding such processes, health care professionals could improve standards of patient care as it pertains to prenatal education, informed consent, and the decision to induce birth.