The mother-daughter guilt dynamic : effects of type 1 diabetes during life transitions

Rasmussen, Bodil, Dunning, Trisha, Cox, Helen and O`Connell, Beverly 2008, The mother-daughter guilt dynamic : effects of type 1 diabetes during life transitions, Journal of clinical nursing, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 380-389, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02342.x.

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Title The mother-daughter guilt dynamic : effects of type 1 diabetes during life transitions
Author(s) Rasmussen, BodilORCID iD for Rasmussen, Bodil
Dunning, TrishaORCID iD for Dunning, Trisha
Cox, Helen
O`Connell, Beverly
Journal name Journal of clinical nursing
Volume number 17
Issue number 11
Start page 380
End page 389
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publication date 2008-11
ISSN 0962-1067
Keyword(s) Australia
life transitions
Summary Aim. The aim of the study was to explore and describe the strategies young women with type 1 diabetes used to manage life transitions. The paper describes one aspect of how guilt dynamic often operates between mothers and daughters and how the women managed the guilt dynamic to create stability in their lives.
When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, major transitional changes occur in the relationships between the mother and her child. The changes affect the psychological and social aspects of their lives and have a major impact on how young women manage their diabetes. A guilt dynamic between mothers and young women with diabetes emerged as a major theme in a larger study that investigated how young women with diabetes managed life transitions. Although the literature indicates that mothers of chronically ill children experience guilt feelings towards their children, little research was identified that addressed the emotional dynamics between mothers and daughters with diabetes.
Design. Using grounded theory method, interviews were conducted with 20 women with type 1 diabetes and five mothers during 2002 and 2003. Constant comparative analysis was used to analyse the data and develop an in-depth understanding of the experience of living with diabetes during life transitions.
Findings. The findings revealed that guilt feelings created a two-way dependency between mothers and their daughters with diabetes. The two-way dependency involved feelings of being a burden to each other, difficulty balancing responsibilities for diabetes management, difficulty relinquishing emotional and social dependency especially during life transitions. In addition, these issues were rarely discussed openly with each other or with health professionals. The findings provide additional information about the human experience of the mother–daughter relationship and the effect on coping with diabetes in the context of life transitions.
Understanding the impact diabetes has on the emotional and social well being of both women with type 1 diabetes and their mothers is critical in planning appropriate support for both groups. Most importantly, it is critical to understand the guilt dynamic that operates during young women with diabetes' life transitions when the daughters' dependency on their mother's control and responsibility for diabetes management undergo changes resulting in emotional responses, especially guilt feelings.
Relevance to clinical practice. Health professionals need to understand the emotional and social impact of the guilt dynamics between young women with type 1 diabetes and their mothers. Adequate and appropriate support can minimize the guilt feelings and enhance stability and quality of life for both mothers and their daughters, especially during major life transitions, such as motherhood.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02342.x
Field of Research 111004 Clinical Nursing: Tertiary (Rehabilitative)
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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