Advertisement

An exploration of fathers’ subjective experiences of parenting a child that presents with dyspraxia

  • Kyle JacksonEmail author
  • Michelle Andipatin
Article
  • 53 Downloads

Abstract

Confronting the realisation that one’s child may have a developmental disability presents a major challenge for any parent. The body of scholarship in this area however, focused mainly on the role that mothers play highlighting a distinct gap within the literature. In an attempt to address this, the study aimed to highlight the experiences of fathers in parenting a child that presents with dyspraxia. The study adopted an Interpretivist framework using a qualitative approach. Consistent with this approach, 14 semi-structured individual interviews were conducted. Fathers across the Cape Metropole area were purposefully recruited and interviewed regarding their experiences in parenting a child with dyspraxia. These interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to Clarke and Braun’s version of thematic analysis. Ethics principles as stipulated by the University of the Western Cape were strictly adhered to throughout the research process. The thematic domain of ‘experiences’ revealed father’s expectations; their initial reactions; the periphery of father’s emotions; guilt and devastation. Based on the findings of the study, alternative understandings of fathering need to be developed to enable new and more equal ways of being both fathers and men and mothers and women. This is necessary to challenge the limiting essential notions of what is possible for men and women.

Keywords

Fatherhood Masculinity Children with dyspraxia Experiences South Africa Qualitative study 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the Dr. A. Pedro for her valuable contributions towards facilitating access to participants.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Al-Yagon, M. (2015). Fathers and mothers of children with learning disabilities: Links between emotional and coping resources. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(2), 112–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association. (2013). The role of the modern day father. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/changing-father.aspx. Accessed Oct 2016.
  3. Astone, N. M., & Peters, H. E. (2014). Longitudinal influences on men's lives: Research from the transition to fatherhood project and beyond. Fathering, 12(2), 161–173.Google Scholar
  4. Baum, S. (2007). The use of family therapy for people with learning disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, 1(2), 8–13.  https://doi.org/10.1108/17530180200700014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becvar, D. S. (Ed.). (2013). The handbook of family resilience. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Berryhill, M. B., Soloski, K. L., Durtschi, J. A., & Adams, R. R. (2016). Family process: Early child emotionality, parenting stress, and couple relationship quality. Personal Relationships, 23, 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bregman, O. C., & White, C. M. (Eds.). (2011). Bringing systems thinking to life: Expanding the horizons for Bowen family systems theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Brescoll, V. L., & Uhlmann, E. L. (2005). Attitudes toward traditional and nontraditional parents. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29, 436–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cable, G. (2017). Fathers experiences of single parenting . Masters dissertation. University of the Western Cape, South Africa.Google Scholar
  10. Cabrera, N. J., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bradley, R. H., Hofferth, S., & Lamb, M. E. (2000). Fatherhood in the twenty-first century. Child Development, 71(1), 127–136.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2013). Teaching thematic analysis: Over coming challenges and developing strategies for effective learning. The Psychologist, 26(2), 120–123.Google Scholar
  12. Colley, M. (2006). Living with dyspraxia: A guide for adults with developmental dyspraxia. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Conway, D. (2008). The masculine state in crisis state response to war resistance in apartheid South Africa. Men and Masculinities, 10(4), 422–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cortiella, C., & Horowitz, S. H. (2014). The state of learning disabilities. New York: National Centre for Learning Disabilities.Google Scholar
  15. Damaske, S. (2013). Work, family, and accounts of mothers' lives using discourse to navigate intensive mothering ideals. Sociology Compass, 7(6), 436–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Delmore-Ko, P., Pancer, S. M., Hunsberger, B., & Pratt, M. (2000). Becoming a parent: The relation between prenatal expectations and postnatal experience. Journal of Family Psychology, 14(4), 625–640.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0893-3200.14.4.625.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Department of Social Development / Department of Women, Children and people with Disabilities/UNICEF. (2012). Children with disabilities in South Africa: A situation analysis 2001–2011. Pretoria: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  18. Elster, A. B., & Lamb, M. E. (2009). Adolescent fatherhood. London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  19. Foulder-Hughes, L., & Prior, C. (2014). Supporting pupils with DCD and ASD with the transition to secondary school. Research in education , 79–92.Google Scholar
  20. Freeman, T. (2003). Loving fathers or deadbeat dads: The crisis of fatherhood in popular culture. Gender identity and reproduction, 33–49.Google Scholar
  21. Gibbs, J., Appleton, J., & Appleton, R. (2007). Dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder? Unravelling the enigma. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 92(6), 534–539.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Graham, J. A., Dixon, M. A., & Hazen-Swann, N. (2016). Coaching dads: Understanding managerial implications of fathering through sport. Journal of Sport Management, 30, 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gregory, A., & Milner, S. (2011). What is "new" about fatherhood?: The social construction of fatherhood in France and the UK. Men and Masculinities, 14, 588–606.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X11412940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haefner, J. (2014). An application of Bowen family systems theory. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 35, 835–841.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Hakoama, M., & Ready, B. S. (2011). Fathering quality, father-child relationship, and child's developmental outcomes. The American Association of Behavioural and Social Sciences Journal, 15.Google Scholar
  26. Haydon-Laurelut, M. (2011). Disablement, systemic therapy and people with learning disabilities. Context, 114, 7–11.Google Scholar
  27. Heiman, T. (2002). Parents of children with disabilities: Resilience, coping, and future expectations. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 14(2), 159–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hobson, B. (2004). Making men into fathers: Men, masculinities and the social politics of fatherhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Houghton, C., Casey, D., Shaw, D., & Murphy, K. (2013). Rigour in qualitative case-study research. Nurse Researcher, 20, 12–17.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Ives, J. (2014). Men, maternity and moral residue: Negotiating the moral demands of the transition to first time fatherhood. Sociology of Health and Illness, 36(7), 1003–1019.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Jackson, K. (2017). An exploration of fathers’ subjective experiences of parenting a child that presents with dyspraxia during middle childhood. The University of the Western Cape, Psychology. Cape Town: Unpublished master's thesis.Google Scholar
  32. Jain, S., Saranga, M. G., Douglas, Z., Betron, M., & Fritz, K. (2011). Allowing men to care - fatherhood and child security project: A program to engage men on HIV, violence and caregiving in South Africa. Support and technical assistance resources. AIDSTAR One: Task Order 1 .Google Scholar
  33. Johnson, M. S., & Young, A. A., Jr. (2016). Diversity and meaning in the study of black fatherhood. Du Bois Review, 13(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jongmans, M. J., Smits-Engelsman, B. C., & Shoemaker, M. M. (2003). Consequences of comorbidity of developmental coordination disorder and learning disabilities for severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(6), 528–537.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Kaur, G., & Scior, K. (2009). Systemic working in learning disability services: A UK wide survey. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37, 213–220.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3156.2009.00553.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Keller, T., Ramisch, J., & Carolan, M. (2014). Relationships of children with autism spectrum disorders and their fathers. Qualitative Report, 19(33), 1–15.Google Scholar
  37. Khatri, A., & De Sousa, A. (2015). Guilt: Dissecting the construct (A short commentary). Indian Journal of Applied Research, 5(7), 650–653.Google Scholar
  38. Knight, K. (2013). The changing face of the 'good mother': Trends in research into families with a child with intellectual disability, and some concerns. Disability and society, 28(5), 660–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lamb, M. E. (2004). The role of the father in child development. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, inc..Google Scholar
  40. Leung, L. (2015). Validity, reliability, and generalisability in qualitative research. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 4(3), 324–327.  https://doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.161306.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Mack, N., Woodsong, C., MacQueen, K. M., Guest, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative research methods: A data collector's field guide. North Carolina: Family Health International.Google Scholar
  42. Makusha, T., & Richter, L. (2015). Non-resident black fathers in South Africa. Fathering: Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.Google Scholar
  43. Malterud, K., Siersma, V. D., & Guassora, A. D. (2016). Sample size in qualitative interview studies: Guided by information power. Qualitative Health Research, 26(13), 1753–1760.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732315617444.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Marsiglio, W., Day, R. D., & Lamb, M. E. (2000). Exploring fatherhood diversity: Implications for conceptualising father involvment. Marriage and Family Review, 29, 269–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Marsiglio, W., Roy, K., & Fox, G. L. (2005). Situtated fathering: A focus on physical and social spheres. Maryland: Rowen and Littlefield publishers.Google Scholar
  46. Mavungu, E. M. (2013). Provider expectations and father involvement: Learning from experiences of poor "absent fathers" in Gauteng, South Africa. African Sociological Review, 17(1), 65–78.Google Scholar
  47. Miller, T. (2011). Making sense of fatherhood: Gender, caring and work. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Miyahara, M., & Baxter, D. G. (2011). Children with "dyspraxia": A survey of diagnostic heterogeneity use and perceived effectiveness of interventions. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23, 439–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Novak, C., Lingam, R., Coad, J., & Emond, A. (2011). 'Providing more scaffolding': Parenting a child with developmental co-ordination disorder, a hidden disability. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(6), 829–835.Google Scholar
  50. Payne, S., Ward, G., Turner, A., Taylor, C. M., & Bark, C. (2013). The social impact of living with developmental coordination disorder as a 13 year old. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76, 362–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Peters, J. M., Barnett, A. L., & Henderson, S. E. (2001). Clumsiness, dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorder: How do health and educational professionals in the UK define the terms? Child: Care, health and development, 399–412.Google Scholar
  52. Pleck, J., & Masciadrelli, B. P. (2004). Paternal involvement by US resident fathers: Levels, sources and consequences. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  53. Poslawsky, I. E., Naber, F. B., Van Daalen, E., & Van Engeland, H. (2014). Parental reaction to early diagnosis of their children's autism spectrum disorder: An exploratory study. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 45(3), 294–305.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Prado, E. L., Abubakar, A. A., Abbeddou, S., Jimenez, E. Y., Some, J. W., & Ouedraogo, J.-B. (2014). Extending the developmental milestones checklist for use in a different context in sub-Saharan Africa. Acta Paediatrica, 103, 447–454.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Richter, L., & Morrell, R. (2006). Baba: Men and fatherhood in South Africa. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press.Google Scholar
  56. Richter, L., Desmond, C., Hosegood, V., Madhavan, S., Makiwane, M., Makusha, T., . . . Swartz, S. (2012). Fathers and other men in the lives of children and families. Strategies to overcome poverty and inequality: Towards Carnegie III (pp. 1-27). Cape Town: Human sciences research council.Google Scholar
  57. Rizzo, K. M., Schiffrin, H. H., & Liss, M. (2013). Insight inot the parent paradox: Mental health outcomes of intensive mothering. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22, 614–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rosenberg, J., & Wilcox, W. B. (2006). The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children. Washington: U.S Department of health and human services.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ruddicks, S. (1997). The idea of fatherhood. In H. L. Nelson (Ed.), Feminism and families. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Saltzman, W. R., Pynoos, R. S., Lester, P., Layne, C. M., & Beardslee, W. R. (2013). Enhancing family resilience through family narrative co-construction. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 16, 294–310.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  61. Sarkadi, A., Kristiansson, R., Oberklaid, F., & Bremberg, S. (2008). Fathers' involvement and children's developmental outcomes: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. Acta Paediatrica, 97, 153–158.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  62. Schacht, P. M., Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (2009). Fathering in family context and child adjustment: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(6), 790–797.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Schmidt, J. (2008). Gendering in infant feeding discourses: The good mother and the absent father. New Zealand Sociology, 23(2), 61–74.Google Scholar
  64. Schooreel, T., & Verbruggen, M. (2016). Use of family-friendly work arrangements and work-family conflict: Crossover effects in dual-earner couples. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21(1), 119–132.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  65. Seligman, M., & Darling, R. B. (2007). Ordinary families, special children: A systems approach to childhood disability (3rd ed.). London: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  66. Sharpe, D., & Faye, C. (2009). A second look at debriefing practices: Madness in our method? Ethics and Behaviour, 19(5), 432–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shefer, T., Stevens, G., & Clowes, L. (2010). Men in Africa: Masculinities, materiality and meaning. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 20(4), 511–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith-Acuna, S. (2011). Systems theory in action: Applications to individual, couples, and family therapy. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons inc..Google Scholar
  69. StatsSA. (2015). Mid-year population estimates. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
  70. Steinman, K. J., Mostofsky, S. H., & Denckla, M. B. (2010). Toward a narrower, more pragmatic view of developmental dyspraxia. Journal of Child Neurology, 71–81.Google Scholar
  71. Tanaka, Y., Yoshida, A., Kawahata, N., Hashimato, R., & Obayashi, T. (1996). Diagnostic dyspraxia: Clinical characteristics responsible lesion and possible underlying mechanism. Brain, 119, 859–873.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Terre Blanche, M., Durheim, K., & Painter, D. (2011). Research in practice. South Africa: UCT Press.Google Scholar
  73. van den Berg, W., Hendricks, L., Hatcher, A., Peacock, D., Godana, P., & Dworkin, S. (2013). 'One man can': Shifts in fatherhood beliefs and parenting practices following a gender transformative programme in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Gender and Development, 21(1), 111–125.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  74. Visagie, A. (2010). Research methodology. Midrand: Midrand Graduate Institute.Google Scholar
  75. Walsh, F. (Ed.). (2012). Normal family processes: Growing diversity and complexity. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  76. Walsh, F. (2016). Strengthening family resilience (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  77. Wong, Y. J., Levante, R. F., Welsh, M. M., Zaitsoff, A., Garvin, M., King, D., & Aguilar, M. (2015). Masculinity priming: Testing the causal effects of activating subjective masculinity experiences on self-esteem. Journal of Men's Studies, 23(1), 98–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yamada, A., Kato, M., Suzuki, M., Suzuki, M., Watanabe, N., Akechi, T., & Furukawa, T. A. (2012). Quality of life of parents raising children with pervasive developmental disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 12.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-12-119.
  79. Zoja, L. (1995). Growth and guilt: Psychology and the limits of development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  80. Zwicker, J. G., Missiuna, C., Harris, S. R., & Boyd, L. A. (2012). Developmental coordination disorder: A review and update. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 16, 573–581.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations