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Exploring experiences of motherhood: mothers' angst, love and resilience

Rosenberg, J. (2018). Exploring experiences of motherhood: mothers' angst, love and resilience. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This study explored how mothers make sense of the experience of parenting their child with autism and anxiety in order to inform the development of future intervention for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using the method of Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), seven mothers of autistic boys aged between 10-16 years were interviewed. IPA was used to understand and gain insight into the mothers’ subjective experience of their autistic child’s anxiety and the meaning that this experience had for them. The findings consisted of three master themes: mothers’ internal struggle, loss of self and overwhelming sense of tensions. The findings highlighted the emotional stress, anxiety and exhaustion that these mothers experienced in relation to managing their child’s anxiety. Their sense of helplessness and inner turmoil was evident in the ways in which they adapted their lives to accommodate their child’s needs. The findings suggest the need to consider the mothers’ emotional well-being together with those of her child when working with families with autism. Implications for counselling psychology together with suggestions for future research are discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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