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

Journal article


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.
AuthorsMunroe, K., Hammond, L. and Cole, S.
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.

KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder; immigrant mothers; Africa; culture; acculturation
Year2016
JournalDisability & Society
Journal citation31 (6), pp. 798-819
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0968-7599
Official URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2016.1200015
Publication dates
Online15 Jul 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Apr 2018
Accepted07 Jun 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88q9y/the-experiences-of-african-immigrant-mothers-living-in-the-united-kingdom-with-a-child-diagnosed-with-an-autism-spectrum-disorder-an-interpretive-phenomenological-analysis

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