Australian Mothers' notions of risk and uncertainty in relation to their pre-teen children

Wright, Jan, Halse, Christine, Levy, Gary and Hartung, Catherine 2014, Australian Mothers' notions of risk and uncertainty in relation to their pre-teen children, Health, risk & society, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 185-198.

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Title Australian Mothers' notions of risk and uncertainty in relation to their pre-teen children
Author(s) Wright, Jan
Halse, Christine
Levy, Gary
Hartung, Catherine
Journal name Health, risk & society
Volume number 16
Issue number 2
Start page 185
End page 198
Total pages 14
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1369-8575
1469-8331
Keyword(s) Mothering
Eating Disorders
Risk
Medicalisation
Pre-teens
Summary In this article we examine the ways discourses of risk manifested and played out within and across two groups of Australian mothers living in two large urban centres in Australia: the first comprised of mothers who had a pre-teen child diagnosed with an eating disorder (n = 13); the second of mothers who had a pre-teen child without the symptoms or diagnosis of an eating disorder (n = 13). In 2011 and 2012, we conducted in-depth interviews with the mothers in their homes on their ideas about health and their relationships with their children. An analysis of the data collected from these interviews indicated that having a pre-teen child diagnosed with an eating disorder had a decisive impact on how the mothers constituted and responded to risk. For mothers, who had a pre-teen child with an eating disorder, risk was intensified by bio-medical discourses. The particular intensifications of risk limited the ways in which mothers could act and often threatened to undermine their abilities as competent carers. By contrast, the mothers who did not have a pre-teen child with an eating disorder spoke about risk less directly, and with less sense of immediacy. Where these mothers acknowledged risk discourses particularly in regard to health, they were in a stronger position to negotiate them. Our analysis indicates that the ways in which mothers responded to risk is contingent on circumstances and contexts. Mothers’ responses to risk were related to the calculability of the risk and their perceived capacity to manage it.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30060703

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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Created: Wed, 19 Feb 2014, 14:37:07 EST by Christine Halse

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