The experiences of African immigrant mothers living in the United Kingdom with a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder: an interpretive phenomenological analysis

Munroe, Kathryn M., Hammond, L. and Cole, S. (2016) The experiences of African immigrant mothers living in the United Kingdom with a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder: an interpretive phenomenological analysis. Disability & Society, 31 (6). pp. 798-819. ISSN 0968-7599.

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Abstract

Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to investigate the experiences of six African immigrant mothers living in the United Kingdom with a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The mothers took part in one-off, semi-structured interviews.

Four themes were identified: caring for a child we did not expect, the pain of stigma and rejection, frameworks of meaning, and negotiating conflicting cultural beliefs. Many aspects of the mothers’ experiences appear related to their position as immigrants from cultures with contrasting belief systems regarding child development and disability. Conflicts between African cultural beliefs and a western, medical understanding of ASD appeared to create a feeling of cognitive dissonance for the mothers.

The strategies used to negotiate this appear to map onto Berry’s acculturation strategies, suggesting that the experience of having a child with ASD impacts upon the acculturation process. Implications for clinical practice and policy are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; immigrant mothers; Africa; culture; acculturation
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0467 Clinical psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Ms Linda Hammond
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 13:55
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 14:03
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17266

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00