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Title: Experiences of parenting children with disabilities : a qualitative study on the perspectives of mothers of children with disabilities in Zambia
Author: Chirwa, Masauso Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 6110
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis sought to provide new insight into the lives and experiences of mothers of children with disabilities in the rural (Kaoma) and urban (Lusaka) settings of Zambia. A detailed literature review revealed that there is a dearth of research that has focused on the views of mothers parenting children with disabilities within the Zambian social and cultural context. Qualitative, biographical interviews were undertaken with thirty mothers whose child had a disability significant enough to qualify for intervention services at the time of the interviews. This study drew on a framework using insights from the social model of disability, feminist intersectionality and the social empowerment model. The methodology was informed by interpretivism, social constructionist grounded theory, feminist intersectionality theories, and data analysis was carried out concurrently with data collection. Findings revealed that disability is still surrounded by stigma and prejudice. It was associated with punishment and bad omen. The diagnosis of a child’s disability had an impact on mothers as it resulted in a liminal (suspended) state and a biographical disruption as they had to reorient their lives. Mother-blame was common and they were often ostracised by their significant others and the communities. Divorce was common especially among first-time mothers whose child had cerebral palsy. Divorce was an unexpected disruptive event that had socioeconomic impact on mothers. They had to bear the burden of caregiving in the absence of support from their partners. Some gave up their employment because of the demands associated with caregiving resulting in financial deprivation. Mothers also experienced loss of agency over their future and that of their child. More power was allotted to husbands than mothers with regard to decision making at home. The study makes a deeper, and more nuanced, contribution to the scarce literature on mothering children with disabilities in Zambia and globally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman