Previous studies have revealed the impact of having a disabled child on their mothers’ quality of life (QOL). However, there has been a lack of research about the influence of having multiple children with disabilities on the mother’s visual depiction of her QOL. This study’s purpose was to examine the QOL trajectory of a mother of multiple children with disabilities by using the life-line method. In 2007, I encountered one such mother by using snowball sampling of patients with disabilities. I performed the first semi-structured interview and asked her to draw a life-line on a sheet of paper containing a vertical axis (psychological state: worst = −10 to best = +10) and a horizontal axis (time and event). In 2014 and 2015, I performed in-depth interviews and asked the same mother to report any changes since the first interview. The findings revealed that the worst point of the mother’s QOL was learning of her son’s autism diagnosis for the first time (−9.5). The mother had prenatal screening during her next pregnancy. The result was negative (unable to detect) and she tried to believe, “It’s OK.” However, after the next child’s birth, characteristics of developmental disabilities appeared and she was “depressed for almost half a year.” Yet, this time, the mother’s life-line remained between −8 and −3 points. After several years, she found her own way and friends, and her life-line rose (+9). Despite facing disabilities in multiple children, which lowered the mother’s QOL, it did not overwhelm her entire life.
Miyako Kimura, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology
This paper is part of the ACP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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