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Research Article  |   May 2000
Mothering Young Children With Disabilities in a Challenging Urban Environment
Author Affiliations
  • Judith Olson, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197; judy.olson@emich.edu
  • Susan Esdaile, PhD, OTR, SROT, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Mothering
Research Article   |   May 2000
Mothering Young Children With Disabilities in a Challenging Urban Environment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2000, Vol. 54, 307-314. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.3.307
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2000, Vol. 54, 307-314. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.3.307
Abstract

Objective. This study examined the occupations of mothering very young children with physical disabilities.

Method. Two single, urban, Black mothers in their mid-20s were interviewed with a semistructured protocol. The audiotaped, transcribed data were analyzed with a phenomenological method.

Results. The context of the challenging urban environment was a constant influence that shaped the participants’ occupations of mothering. The major overarching theme derived from the data was that mothering was “what I got to do” in relation to their particular child. Two subthemes were identified: (a) mothering as caring and (b) the impact of social supports on the occupations of mothering.

Conclusion. To plan meaningful, effective interventions, occupational therapy practitioners need to understand the context in which mothering occupations occur and to ensure that mothers’ caring occupations and social support needs are addressed in the therapeutic partnership.