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Title: A qualitative study looking at the experiences of mothers with learning disabilities and their school aged children
Author: Edmonds, Jane C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3438 3271
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1998
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This study looked at the experiences of mothers with learning disabilities and their school aged children. The participants comprised a) 8 mothers with learning disabilities, with school aged children (5-18 years old), who had received services from a community team for people with learning disabilities, and b) 4 children from these families whose permission had been obtained to participate. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the experiences of the mothers and children in relation to key aspects of family life and the psychological consequences of these experiences. Grounded theory was used to analyse the text generated from the interviews. Findings suggested the importance of identity, difficult relationship and attachment styles, psychological vulnerability and lack of control. This led to a formulation of how different aspects of die mother's and children's experiences interact to produce the overall experience for this group. The model tentatively suggests an interaction between external factors (poverty, support networks, life events) and factors within the individual (role identity, lack of control, attachment patterns and vulnerability) which results in psychological distress and need for support. The model is expanded and validated via recourse to existing theory, namely social identity theory (Tajfel, 1981) attachment (Bowlby, 1969) and object relations theory (Guntrip, 1971), a life events model (Brown and Harris, 1978) and a model of locus of control (Cohen, 1980). The findings are evaluated and ideas for future research are discussed. Clinical implications are also addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Psychology