An exploratory study of mother's stress and coping with caregiving to a child with specific learning disabilities or difficulties

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An exploratory study of mother's stress and coping with caregiving to a child with specific learning disabilities or difficulties

 

Author: Lee, Kai-mei May
Title: An exploratory study of mother's stress and coping with caregiving to a child with specific learning disabilities or difficulties
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2011
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Mother and child -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Learning disabled children -- Care -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: v, 150 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2445326
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6129
Abstract: Caring for a child with Specific Learning Disabilities or Difficulties (SLD) can be both rewarding and difficult experience; however, little is known about the experience of mothers in caregiving children with SLD in Hong Kong as well as other countries. The present study aimed at exploring the perceived health needs and ways of coping among mothers with caregiving to their children with SLD in Hong Kong via qualitative interviews. Particular interest was laid on (1) the parental experiences of caregiving to a child with SLD; (2) the sources of stress and perceived health needs among the mothers concerning caregiving; (3) the supports and utilization of available health care services by the mothers having a child with SLD; and (4) the coping strategies employed by the mothers in caring for their SLD children in daily living. This study adopted a qualitative research approach. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with nine mothers having a child with SLD. All interviews were audiotape recorded and transcribed. Content analysis with a constant comparative approach was used to analyze the interview data. During the data analysis, five categories emerged from the data collected. All nine in-depth interviews were held between December 2009 and November 2010. The research findings suggested that the stress related to the care of children with SLD was multi-faceted. A lot of difficulties in caregiving, concerns with the SLD child, negative experience with school personnels, and limited support resources were reported by the mothers in the study. The researcher also found that there were significant psychosocial impacts on the mothers due to caregiving to their children with SLD. In addition, active seeking information, acceptance and positive wishful thinking were the few coping strategies employed by the mothers to cope with the stress in caregiving. This study set out to contribute to the understanding of the stress and ways of coping among Chinese mothers having a child with SLD. It would provide a basis for design of more effective interventions and supporting resources to assist the parents with caregiving to a child with SLD effectively. Moreover, the study also highlighted the important role of school nurses to provide early identification, assessment and intervention in order to help the children with SLD and their families. Having a better support and concern to these parents, schools, healthcare professionals and the community services could facilitate more positive health outcomes for the SLD children as well as their families in the future. To have a harmonious society and better to the younger generation, it is also important to increase the public awareness and education about some childhood disorder such as SLD in this study.

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