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Concealed concern: Fathers' experience of having a child with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Waite-Jones, J.M. and Madill, A. (2008) Concealed concern: Fathers' experience of having a child with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Psychology and Health, 23 (5). pp. 585-601. ISSN 0887-0446

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Despite increased research into families of chronically ill children, more needs to be known about the father’s experience. We address this issue through asking: ‘What is it like to be the father of a child with juvenile idiopathic arthritis?’ (JIA). Four members of eight families with an adolescent diagnosed with JIA, including seven fathers, were interviewed and transcripts analyzed using grounded theory. This study suggests that fathers of children with JIA experience several severe losses which are exacerbated through comparisons they make between their own situation and that of fathers of healthy children. In addition, the fathers faced several constraints which reduced their opportunities to communicate with their ill child through shared activities. Fathers appeared to conceal their distress by adopting strategies of denial and distraction however their adjustment was facilitated, to some extent, by social support. They could also develop greater acceptance of their situation over time as the care of their ill child became assimilated into family life and constraints upon their life gradually reduced through the increased maturity of their son or daughter with JIA. These findings have implications for healthcare professionals and voluntary organizations.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: ©2008 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Psychology & Health. Psychology & Health is available online at informaworld. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Fathers, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Family, Childhood Disability, Chronic illness, Qualitative research
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2008 08:53
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870440802036911
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: doi: 10.1080/08870440802036911
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3953

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