DATE: Saturday, September 15, 2012
TIME: 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Kristi Ann Pikiewicz
DISSERTATION TITLE: " I Never Knew I Had Expectations Until I Realized They Weren’t Going To Come True: A Grounded Theory Study of Mothering a Chronically Ill Child"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-O; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Oksana Yakushko
READER: Dr. Paula Thomson
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Cynthia Divino
Pikiewicz, K. (2012). I Never Knew I Had Expectations Until I Realized They Weren’t Going To Come True: A Grounded Theory Study of Mothering a Chronically Ill Child (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
This grounded theory study explored the lived experience of mothers of chronically ill children (n=14). Interviews were coded for meaning units and there emerged four axial codes central to the experience: 1) Surrounding medical context, 2) Advocate for chronically ill child and/or illness, 3) Direct or indirect evidence of trauma, 4) Posttraumatic growth. Relationships between code frequencies imply that mothers who express high advocacy behaviors are likely to experience relatively high trauma outcomes and low posttraumatic growth. The inverse is equally true -- mothers lower in advocacy expressed lower continuing identification with trauma and correspondingly higher posttraumatic growth. However, interviews showed that these high-advocacy, high-trauma, low-growth mothers are a subpopulation likely to be mistakenly identified as experiencing high posttraumatic growth, according to the widely-used Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. The results of this study imply that mothers who express strength and advocacy within the chronically ill community may in fact be the most in need of intervention. Further study is needed to support or refute this study's findings.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.