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Title: An analysis of parents' experience of parenthood and of the health visiting service, from the perspectives of parents of young children
Author: Hogg, Rhona
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The study set out to explore the interplay parents’ experience of parenthood and of the health visiting service from the perspectives of parents of young children. The study findings suggest that parenthood is associated with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to children and to society. Extended family is presented as a very limited source of practical help and useful advice in relation to childrearing and the establishment of new social networks seems to be vital for many parents in coping with the challenges of childrearing. Parents demonstrated an awareness of their unique understanding of their own child. The transition to parenthood is portrayed as especially problematic for many parents. Many parents appear to believe that health visitors have a duty to monitor the welfare of all children. Many parents, however, described their own health visitors as providing them with support and encouragement and as having a role in substituting to some degree for support and advice which traditionally might have come from parents’ own social network of family and friends. The health visiting service was also portrayed as an important source of advice to some parents who had good social support, as a resource for help with problems which could not be resolved with help from informal sources, or which involved relationships with others and were considered by parents to require help from an unbiased outsider who could assure confidentiality. While the health visitor’s role with families in the early days of parenthood was generally well understood, parents’ recognition of the wider remit of the health visiting service often depended on personal or second-hand experience of health visitors providing more holistic care. Caring, as defined by Leininger (1991) emerged from analysis of the data as being an important aspect of the health visitor’s role with families. The study findings support the continuation of health visiting as a universal service rather than restricting the provision of advice and support to families assessed as being in greatest need.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available