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, K., 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.
|Authors||Munroe, K., Hammond, L. and Cole, S.|
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.
|Keywords||Autism spectrum disorder; immigrant mothers; Africa; culture; acculturation|
|Journal||Disability & Society|
|Journal citation||31 (6), pp. 798-819|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Online||15 Jul 2016|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||24 Apr 2018|
|Accepted||07 Jun 2016|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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