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

  • Author / Creator
    Paul Ravindran, Vinitha Priscilla
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.