A Longitudinal Case Study of the Quality of Life Trajectory: A Mother of Multiple Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders

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Author: Miyako Kimura, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan
Email: mkimura@marianna-u.ac.jp
Published: December 2015
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.1.1.02

Citation: Kimura, M. (2015). A Longitudinal Case Study of the Quality of Life Trajectory: A Mother of Multiple Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.1.1.02


Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the quality of life (QOL) trajectory of a mother of multiple children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) using the lifeline method. In 2007, the first semi-structured interview was performed and the mother was asked to draw on a sheet of paper a lifeline containing a vertical axis (denoting psychological state: worst = −10 to best = +10) and a horizontal axis (denoting the time and event). At this point, the mother was in her early 40s and had three sons. In 2014, the second interview was performed, wherein the same mother was asked to report any changes/differences since the first interview. In 2015, the third interview was performed, wherein the mother confirmed the lifeline that she had drawn in the first interview and added to it based on her current perspectives. Throughout the mother’s life, her psychological state was lowest (−9.5) after detecting disability in her second son for the first time. This negative experience was repeated when she detected disability in the third child, but the mother’s psychological state only ranged between −8 (perspective in 2007) and −3 (perspective in 2015). Although having to face a child’s having a PDD multiple times negatively influenced the mother’s QOL, it did not overwhelm her. Peer support and an understanding husband were particularly important for enhancing the mother’s QOL.

Keywords

lifeline, quality of life, amniocentesis, prenatal diagnosis, pervasive developmental disorders