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Title: A phenomenological investigation into the impact of parenthood : giving a voice to mothers with visual impairment in the UK
Author: Molden, Helen Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Middlesex University and Metanoia University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2012
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Issues around parenting and psychological support for parents have increased in prominence in UK public policy and discourse over the last decade. However, there has been minimal focus on parenting with a disability, and specifically scant information on the experiences of what it is like to be a parent with visual impairment. In this investigation, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), I examined how the experience of becoming a parent impacts nine mothers with visual impairment, aged 32 to 47, living in the UK. The findings highlighted various aspects of the mothers’ experience under four meta-themes: 1) struggles around independence, 2) visibility and the impact of the other’s gaze, 3) “life can sometimes be more complicated” and 4) the changed relationship with time. The discussion raised the possibility of counselling psychologists and psychotherapists moving towards a new integrative model to conceptualise the experience of parenting with a disability. It also highlighted three major areas: (i) the need for increased opportunity, flexibility and access to emotional support services for mothers with visual impairment and their partners, (ii) an emphasis on the use of online social networks to reduce isolation and the risk of depression, and (iii) the mothers’ daily experience of stigmatisation and marginalisation in interaction with the other (including an exposition of how the mothers use humour as a way of dealing with this experience).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.C.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available