Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

I never knew I had expectations until I realized they weren't going to come true: A grounded theory study of mothering a chronically ill child
by Pikiewicz, Kristi Ann, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 102; 3537130
Abstract (Summary)

This grounded theory study explored the lived experience of mothers of chronically ill children (n = 14). Interviews were coded for meaning units, and there emerged four axial codes central to the experience: (1) surrounding medical context, (2) advocate for chronically ill child or illness, (3) direct or indirect evidence of trauma, (4) posttraumatic growth. Relationships between code frequencies imply that mothers who express high-advocacy behaviors are likely to experience relatively high trauma outcomes and low posttraumatic growth. The inverse is equally true--mothers lower in advocacy expressed lower continuing identification with trauma and correspondingly higher posttraumatic growth. However, interviews showed that these high-advocacy, high-trauma, low-growth mothers are a subpopulation likely to be mistakenly identified as experiencing high posttraumatic growth, according to the widely used Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. The results of this study imply that mothers who express strength and advocacy within the chronically ill community may in fact be the most in need of intervention. Further study is needed to support or refute this study's findings.

Keywords: trauma, posttraumatic growth, chronic illness, pediatrics, posttraumatic stress disorder, parenting, attachment, child development

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yakushko, Oksana
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Attachment styles, Chronic illness, Mothers, Posttraumatic stress disorder
Publication Number: 3537130
ISBN: 9781267963284
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