In the Face of Socio-Political Conflict: Mothers’ Experiences of Hope Alongside Adult Children with Mental Illnesses

  • Author / Creator
    Redlich Amirav, Dorit
  • This study aimed to explore hope experiences among mothers living alongside adult children with mental illnesses in a socio-political conflict area. Hope is increasingly recognized as an important factor for people facing difficult situations. Mothers whose adult children struggle with mental illness carry heavy burdens which are especially challenging to hope. Those burdens may be exaggerated in socio-political conflict areas. To date, the mothers’ experiences of hope have been, for the most part, unexplored, not understood, and largely unknown. A qualitative methodology, based on Polkinghorne’s (1995) framework of narrative inquiry, guided the study. Two Palestinian and two Israeli mothers were recruited from community mental health centers and hostels in Jerusalem. Tape-recorded conversations, hope collages, and field notes were used as the main sources of data for each mother and were gathered over the course of 4 months. To ensure credibility, narratives were negotiated through ongoing conversations and in follow-up meetings with each mother. Common themes were then constructed within and across the mothers’ accounts. Five themes were identified: (1) socio-political conflict markedly threatened experiences of hope, (2) mental illness in a family member challenged hope, (3) hope was a process in motion, (4) hope reverberated through generations, and (5) hope was experienced by doing occupations in a spiritual way. Living in a conflict area threatened hope for the mothers. What inspired them to continue hoping was doing occupations in a spiritual way and recalling past hope experiences that were then transmitted to their children. The mothers expressed experiences of hope in implicit and explicit ways that allowed them to move forward and gave them a sense of possibility amidst the uncertainty of their lives. The thesis includes discussions about implications for future hope research and practice in occupational therapy, mental health, and rehabilitation in conflict areas.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    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 these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before 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.