Towards self-forgiveness and self-worth : journeys of birth mothers of children with FASD.
The purpose of this study was to come to a greater understanding of the experiences of birth mothers of children with FASD since the birth of their child. The principles of feminist research practice were utilized throughout in order to give a voice to the women who participated in the study. The research followed the general guidelines to conducting hermeneutic phenomenology outlined by van Manen (1990). Purposeful sampling was used to recruit four birth mothers of children with FASD who have been involved in the mothering of that child. Data was generated through three semi-structured interviews with each participant, including a hermeneutic interview in which the women participated in the process of interpretation. Data was analysed using selective, detailed and wholistic methods and through the process of writing and re-writing (van Manen, 1990). The results focus on the social and emotional experiences of the women who participated in the study. The experience of being a birth mother of a child with FASD is represented in a discussion of four main themes: Living with the Past: Self-Forgiven, yet Always Present; Living with Others: Judgement and Understanding; Living with the Self: Unworthy and Unfit; and Living with Ambivalence: Mothering as a Birth Mother. The implications of this research in relation to the understanding of the experiences of birth mothers of children with FASD and potential supports are discussed.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeMartin, Stephanie; Murray, Lee
Copyright DateSeptember 2010
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder