Emerging Resilience in a Family Affected by Autism
Using a phenomenological framework, the study comprised data collected during semi-structured interviews with the four members of one family. The participants were interviewed in a three-step process to determine if qualities of resilience would emerge. Six themes evolved from the participants interviews and were used to answer the research questions.
Interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to phenomenological procedures seeking the essence of a familys experience of raising a child with autism. The information gathered during the interviews clarified which factors contribute to the familys resilience. The researcher gained background knowledge of the guiding principles the family has used to overcome many of the challenges of autism. As well, direction and insight intended for other families with a child with autism were gained.
The contributing characteristics and attributes that emerged from the data were: acceptance and understanding; adaptability and flexibility; self-efficacy; strength and determination; and support from family or community.
The findings support the existing understanding of factors that contribute to resilience in families affected by autism. The data collected during the interviews revealed that the participants share many of the same feelings of frustration, guilt and stress as other families affected by autism but also attain strength and a sense of hope or optimism for the future. Once the parents were able to move through the cycle of grief their healthy adaptation became apparent. The themes derived from the lived experiences of the participants demonstrate how they have emerged from adversity with resilience.
Advisor:Mykota, David; McVittie, Janet; Noonan, Brian
School:University of Saskatchewan
School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:04/07/2008