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Title: Mothers from ethnic minorities and their experiences of support for their sons with autism : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Lee, Rosie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 7333
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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An increase in the prevalence of autism in recent years has meant that the needs of parents of children with autism are becoming an increasingly vital area of research. There is evidence that parents of children with autism experience higher levels of stress than parents of children with other developmental disorders and yet there is a dearth of research involving parents of children with autism, particularly research into their experiences. The aim of this open ended study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of parents of children with autism; specifically their experiences of support since their sons were diagnosed. The research was qualitative and idiographic, and the approach adopted was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Semi-structured interviews were completed with five mothers from ethnic minorities with six and seven year old boys who had received a diagnosis of autism by the age of four and who attended a mainstream school. All mothers had more than one child. Analysis generated six superordinate themes which reflected the participants' process of understanding and coming to terms with autism; needing or wanting further support or information; their role and responsibility as mother; confidence in and reliance on others; communication; and comparison. Participants identified what they had found supportive and areas in which they felt in need of further support. The findings are explored in relation to existing research and psychological theories and implications are offered. In particular, findings indicated that the label of autism can be helpful to parents both in coming to terms with autism and in gaining support. Whilst trust in professionals was evident, all five mothers gained support from other parents of children with autism. Further research is needed to investigate whether these findings can be generalised. There is also reflection upon the applicability of using IPA with participants for who English is an additional language and the impact of their cultural identities on their experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available