Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: What it means to be a father : an existential exploration of fatherhood amongst fathers who have a learning disability
Author: Willmoth, Corrina M. L.
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The aim of this study was to explore the meaning of being a father with a group of five fathers with a Learning Disability, with reference to existential concerns and the role of the counselling psychologist in working with these men. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse nine interviews conducted with five fathers. The main themes that arose from the analysis were "identity with family"; "identity as a father"; "disability as undesired" and "struggles of self in the community". It was found that fathers' identities were complex and mirrored the current cultural diversity of concepts of fatherhood. There were also difficulties highlighted with managing personal relationships and enforced separation from children. Associated with this were the complications of managing painful emotions, particularly anger. Fathers felt that they had been disadvantaged within their local communities and needed support to fulfil their parenting role. This is consistent with published research on parents with Learning Disabilities. Counselling psychologists provide a unique variety of services to people with learning difficulties in combining psychological theory with therapeutic practice which places great emphasis on both personal and relational awareness. Thus it was considered that counselling psychologists might be of specific benefit to assist these fathers with the difficulties they may have in their relationships and coming to terms with the consequences of living with a Learning Disability, as well as supporting professionals to develop strong working relationships with these families. As there is so little published material in this field, further research would be necessary to investigate more fully the considerations pertinent to this group of fathers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fatherhood ; Learning difficulties ; Parenting