Tourette syndrome (TS) is a misunderstood complex, chronic, neuropsychiatric disorder known for both involuntary muscle and vocal tics which manifests itself in childhood and usually has a lifelong duration.
Little research has been done on how families are impacted by having a child with (TS) and even less has been done on how fathers in particular are affected. Dealing with a child who has TS can be stressful to the parents as well as to the dynamics of and the family. While children with TS have many obvious challenges, their families face similar problems which may not be so readily apparent.
This study used qualitative research methods to study the relationships of fathers and their sons with TS. Qualitative research is useful for examining aspects of social life that are not easily accessed through quantitative data collection techniques.
The overarching finding which emerged in this study was that the fathers experienced a waxing and waning pattern of response in the face of an uncertain future which seemed to be influenced by the intrinsic nature of TS. They reported experiences along a continuum of success, ranging from effective responses which seemed to lead to personal growth and resilience and stronger relationships with their sons and families, to ineffective responses, difficulty developing personally, and relationship strain or deterioration. The waxing and waning pattern of responses occurred along five major themes: (1) the question of normalcy, (2) pride in son, (3) hope in the future, (4) acceptance, and (5) role satisfaction.
Each father had his own unique challenges to his son with TS which impacted his relationships with this son, his other children, and his wife. As a whole these fathers appeared to find effective ways over time to develop strong family relationships. Factors which seemed to propel these fathers forward included a clear understanding of and commitment to their roles as a father and husband and the successful development of a strong husband and wife team.
|Advisor:||Richardson, Glenn E.|
|Commitee:||Ferre, Richard, Morrow, Sue, Panos, Patrick, Summerhays, Julia Franklin|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|Department:||Health Promotion and Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Individual & family studies, Health education|
|Keywords:||ADHD, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Comorbidity, Fathers, OCD, Resiliency, Tourette, Tourette syndrome|
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