Fathers of adults who have a learning disability : roles, needs and concerns

Davys, D ORCID: 0000-0002-4785-0792, Mitchell, D and Martin, RM 2017, 'Fathers of adults who have a learning disability : roles, needs and concerns' , British Journal of Learning Disabilities .

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Abstract

Background:
There is little research that specifically relates to fathers of adults with a learning disability despite the social expectation that fathers will provide a supportive role over the lifespan.
Methods:
Semi-structured interviews were carried out with seven fathers of adults with a learning disability to explore their roles, needs and concerns. Data was analysed using a framework associated with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Results:
Themes arising demonstrate that fathers were shocked at the diagnosis of learning disability but usually reported adaptation over time. The impact of learning disability upon men’s lives, their perception of their adult child and the roles they assumed were varied. Fathers valued support from wives and grandparents; having knowledge and interests and work type roles. All fathers were concerned about the future yet comprehensive futures planning was lacking. Some fathers reported difficulties in being emotionally open, and referred to societal stereotypes. Fathers valued positive support from service providers; however this relationship was often in conflict.
Conclusion:
Although mothers are often the main carers for adults with a learning disability, fathers can make a significant contribution. The findings presented here support the results of previous studies regarding paternal response to learning disability and varied impact upon men’s lives. Identified support strategies include leisure interests, volunteer/ work roles, having information and support from wives and grandparents. Ongoing concerns incorporate the future and ambivalent relationships with service providers, which could have a negative impact upon the individual who has a learning disability.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Learning Disabilities
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1354-4187
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr D Davys
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 15:51
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 18:05
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/44301

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