Mothers' experiences raising children who have multiple disabilities and their perceptions of the chronic sorrow phenomenon.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rosalie N. Parrish (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Judith Niemeyer

Abstract: This qualitative study proposed to answer the following two questions: Do mothers of children who have multiple disabilities experience feelings that are consistent with chronic sorrow?, and What are mothers’ perceptions of the chronic sorrow phenomenon? Seven biological mothers of children who have multiple disabilities were interviewed on two separate occasions about their initial reactions and long-term feelings associated with having a child who has multiple disabilities, and their perceptions on the chronic sorrow phenomenon and the terminology associated with it. Results indicated that mothers experience a sense of loss and feelings of grief long past the initial diagnosis. Trigger events, daily life occurrences that are either expected or unexpected, can make those familiar feelings resurface, so that mothers seem to experience the grief cycle over and over again. Mothers in this study describe feelings that mirror characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder, anticipatory grief, and chronic sorrow. They also describe experiences of happiness and joy in raising their children and discuss coping strategies that have been most helpful to them.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
chronic sorrow, families, grief and loss, multiple disabilities, special education
Children with disabilities $x Development.
Children with disabilities $x Care.
Parent and child $x Psychological aspects.

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