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Title: Mothers with disabled children in Cyprus : experiences and support
Author: Stylianou, Antigoni
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 0528
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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In a discernibly developed world, where the subject of disability and equal rights for disabled children is strongly discussed, it is expected that inclusive practices and service provision should be developed in smaller societies as well. There is evidence that mothers, and mothers of disabled children in particular, are the main care providers to their children. Lack of evidence for this however, in the context of Cyprus, was the main point of departure for this research. By focusing on mothers with disabled children in Cyprus, this study aimed to gain an understanding of mothers’ experiences and their perspectives on raising disabled children. An examination of the Cyprus context, its history and relation to disability, have been analysed in an attempt to contextualise the analysis of mothers’ accounts. Twenty-five mothers shared their personal experiences of their journeys with their disabled children. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with mothers whose children ranged from the ages of six to twenty-two years. Mothers described their experiences and early feelings, from the time that their children were born, to the time that the mothers became aware of the disability. Mothers were asked to describe the support that they received ‘formally’, with regards to state support and other public services, as well as the ‘informal support’ received from family members and friends. In addition the study aimed to establish an understanding of the experiences of stigma that the mothers encountered, and the ways used to manage and cope with stigma. Data were analysed through thematic analysis. The study shows that mothers went through different stages of grief associated with their journeys with their children. Shock, disappointment and lack of trust in doctors and other professionals were the main feelings that characterised the different stages of their journeys. In terms of support, the results highlighted differences between the formal and informal support that they received. Mothers were much less satisfied with formal than informal support. All the mothers experienced stigma by ‘courtesy’ of having a child with a disability. The study concludes that in Cyprus there is still a huge gap between policy and practice.
Supervisor: Brannen, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available