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Title: The maternal experience of having a child with night-time sleep difficulties
Author: Alcala, Morgan
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2013
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Aims: The main aim of this research was to add depth of understanding and a human voice to existing research on the maternal experience of having a child with night-time sleep difficulties. It was hoped that this increased understanding could be used by counselling psychologists, not only in their own clinical practice but also when supporting physical health practitioners who have direct contact with this client group. Method: Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with mothers who had children over the age of one who were experiencing night-time sleep difficulties. The interviews were transcribed and analysed in accordance with grounded theory methods. A constructivist version of grounded theory was utilised as outlined by Charmaz (2006). Analysis: A central story line of ‘no choice but to function’ emerged. This refers to the place where these mothers found themselves after attempts to solve their child’s sleep problem had proved ineffective, and describes a state of both ‘coping’ and immense struggle. A number of categories were identified which contribute to this central storyline. A process was identified that outlined the stages that all participants moved through as they encountered and adapted to this experience. Personal Conflicts were also identified which described the experience and impact of fatigue, uncertainty and conflicting emotions. Categories of Responsibility and Isolation also emerged and were found to potentially lead to many personal needs not being met iii and a lack of engagement with support (including that of health professionals). Furthermore, a category of Coping highlighted not only the participants’ reflections on how they coped but also potential future avenues of support. Conclusion: The aims of this research were met with a deeper understanding of this population being obtained and a human voice being added to the existing research on this subject. Findings from this research offer a theoretical model which highlights not only the physical, emotional and systemic struggles encountered by the participants that were interviewed, but also provides suggestions based on these findings for future research and clinical practice.
Supervisor: Galbraith, Victoria; Chen-Wilson, Josephine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Maternal experience ; sleep deprivation ; maternal fatigue ; child sleep problems ; qualitative