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Title: An exploratory study of paternal experiences of parenting a child with a disability
Author: Bayley, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0001 3452 0774
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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This study sought to rectify the lack of research into fathers of children With a disability. Archaic images offathers as domineering cold and distant authority figures have been replaced with the recognition that fathers are able to provide sensitive responsive and nurturing relationships with their children. Parenting models have been used to identify the processes behind parenting. These have identified stressors faced by families and the necessary resources needed to offset these to prevent parenting deteriorating or becoming harmful. The majority ofabusive parenting is portrayed by father-figures within the family. Despite this few parenting models have looked at the unique process offathers parenting their children. Children with disabilities are known to place many additional pressures on their families, and are more at risk for receiving less than good enough parenting. This study utilised a grounded theory methodology to explore the experiences of fathers parenting a child with a disability in order to gain greater insight and knowledge into the experiences of such individuals. Five fathers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview regarding their experiences of being a father to their disabled child. Through extensive analysis six themes were identified as important to the fathers. These included; fatherhood and parenting; effects on the family; impact of a disability; coping; social support and employment. Throughout these themes the need for balance was expressed. This theme of 'balance' provided the over-arching theme that tied the six themes together and wasPaternal experiences of children with a disability used to understand the dynamic and complex relationships between them. Fathers were faced with a great number of stressors associated with having a child with a disability. These stressors had an extensive and detrimental impact on the fathers, families, social network, ability to cope and employment. Fathers sought to balance the negative impact by utilising additional resources to offset, reduce or diminish the effect ofthe stressors present within the family. The theoretical and clinical implications are discussed in the light ofthese findings. Suggestions for future research are highlighted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available