Becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability- a narrative inquiry of Irish fathers’ stories

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dc.contributor.advisor Savage, Eileen en
dc.contributor.author Marsh, Lynne
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T12:44:08Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation Marsh, L. 2014. Becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability- a narrative inquiry of Irish fathers’ stories. DN Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2027
dc.description.abstract Background: This thesis explored men’s experiences of becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability in the early years. In Ireland, it is estimated that there are almost 97% (n= 9,914) children with intellectual disabilities living at home in the care of parents, siblings, relatives or foster parents. While mothers and fathers are the primary caregivers, mothers’ experiences are well documented in comparison to the dearth of reports on fathers’ experiences. This descriptive narrative study aims to redress this gap in knowledge and understanding of men’s experiences of becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability in the early years. Method: Narrative inquiry was employed for this study as it allows stories told by fathers to be collected as a means of exploring men’s transition to becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability. A sample of 10 fathers of children with intellectual disabilities aged between thirteen months and five years of age were recruited from a large intellectual disability Health Service Provider (HSP) in the South of Ireland. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews which were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed using a narrative thematic approach. Findings: Findings are presented in four themes: i) ‘becoming a father’, ii) ‘something wrong with my child’, iii) ‘entering the world of disability’ and iv) ‘living a different life’. For all 10 fathers the time of being told that their child had an intellectual disability was laden with negative emotional responses irrespective of whether the diagnosis was at birth or more gradual over the child’s early developmental period. When fathers found out that ‘something was wrong’ they spoke of ‘moving on’ and entering the world of disability. In their narratives, becoming the father of a child with an intellectual disability had changed their lives and would inevitably change their futures. Fathers’ positivity was clearly evident with many fathers identifying that the diagnosis of their child with an intellectual disability was not a life ending event but rather a life changing event. Conclusions: Healthcare professionals have a critical role in supporting fathers during the transition to becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability. Factors which require consideration include recognising that each father’s experience is unique; that fathers require support; and that fathers achieve personal growth because of their experiences of their transition to becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability in the early years. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2014, Lynne Marsh. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Fathers en
dc.subject Qualitative en
dc.subject Narrative inquiry en
dc.subject Intellectual disability en
dc.title Becoming a father of a child with an intellectual disability- a narrative inquiry of Irish fathers’ stories en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral Degree (Structured) en
dc.type.qualificationname Doctor of Nursing Practice en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Indefinite en
dc.check.date 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Nursing and Midwifery en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
dc.internal.conferring Spring Conferring 2015


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© 2014, Lynne Marsh. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014, Lynne Marsh.
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