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Parenting processes in families of children who have sustained burns: a grounded theory study Open Access


Other title
Data generation
Grounded theory
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Paul Ravindran, Vinitha Priscilla
Supervisor and department
Ogilvie, Linda (Faculty of Nursing)
Rempel, Gwen (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Ray, Lynne (Faculty of Nursing)
Woodgate, Roberta (Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba)
Williamson, Deanna (Human Ecology)
Lasiuk, Geri (Faculty of Nurisng)
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The impetus for this study came from my clinical practice with burn-injured children in India. Burn injury is one of the most traumatic accidents a child can suffer. Parents are profoundly affected when their child is burn-injured. The number of pediatric burn admissions in low-income countries such as India is higher than in high-income countries with worse burn-related sequelae, including poorer psychosocial outcomes. Family support and a cohesive family environment positively affect long term child outcomes after burn injury. How parents provide this support and related challenges are not well articulated. The aim of this study was to discover the post-hospitalization parenting and/or caregiving processes for families of children in India who have sustained burns. Based on constructivist grounded theory methodology individual and group interviews were conducted with nine mothers, nine fathers, one aunt and three grandmothers of 12 burn-injured children (less than 16 years) who had sustained 20 to 60 % total surface area burns. Open, focused and theoretical coding were used to delineate code categories and concepts. Memos were written to elaborate categories. Further conceptualization and abstraction occurred with constant comparisons of data between and within participants’ accounts. This paper-based dissertation includes an introductory chapter, four publishable papers, and a final general discussion chapter. In the first paper, a comprehensive review of pediatric burn literature on long-term pediatric burn outcomes is presented. The second paper describes one of the substantive processes of parenting burn-injured children: “Embracing the Survival.” The process of embracing involved three stages: suffering the trauma, sustaining the survival, and shielding from stigma. In the third paper another substantive process that occurred in parallel to embracing the survival, “Enduring the Blame” is elaborated. Parents endured the blame they encountered by internalizing, accommodating, adjusting and, anticipating and avoiding blame. The final paper is a critical reflection of the tensions and challenges of generating methodologically rigorous and ethically sound qualitative data in India. Possibilities for dual processes and a theory of parenting are contemplated in the concluding general discussion. The dissertation concludes with implications for practice, research and suggestions for knowledge transfer.
License granted by Vinitha Paul Ravindran ( on 2011-11-29 (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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