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Title: Maternal perspectives on the development of attachments in autism : a qualitative study
Author: Dickinson, Claudia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3423 9608
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2007
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The aim ofthis piece of research was to develop an understanding of how mothers manage to develop satisfying relationships with their children who have autism. The decision to focus on mothers of children with autism was made due a lack of research examining the development of mother-child relationships in autism. Six mothers of children with a diagnosis of autism who were between the ages of 4 and 7 years were recruited. Participants were aged between 34 and 40 years. The length oftime since their children had been diagnosed with autism ranged from 8 months to 3 yefu''S. Semistructured interview schedules were utilised to examine mothers' perspectives of how they had managed to develop their relationships with their children. Additional perspectives regarding the development ofthe mother-child relationships were obtained through a process oftriangulation by interviewing significant other people using semistructured interview schedules. The Parent Development Interview-Revised (PDI-R, Slade et ai, 2004a) was utilised with the mothers participating in the research in order to gain an independent evaluation of their relationships with their children. All of the interviews were transcribed by secretaries at the University of Leeds. Semi-structured interviews were analysed using Grounded Theory methodology, whereas the Parent Development Interview-Revised was analysed independently. A conceptual model was developed depicting commonalities across participants' perspectives of how they had developed their relationship with their autistic children. The model consists ofthe categories: Becoming a mother, Birth and bonding, Making a connection, Difficulties /' making a connection, The impact ofthe diagnosis, Coping strategies, Time, Child improving, Acceptance and individuality, Influence of own upbringing and Personality. The Discussion section focuses on five of these categories, which were particularly salient in the development of the mother-child relationships. These were: Birth and bonding, Making a connection, The impact ofthe diagnosis, Time and Acceptance and individuality. The results from the Parent Development Interview were also considered in the discussion. All findings are discussed in relation to existing literature. Clinical implications ofthe research findings are presented and the research is examined with regards to methodological rigour. Finally the limitations ofthe study are considered and suggestions for future research are made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available