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Mothers of young children with special health care needs : maternal well-being and engagement in work

By Julie Ann Dillon-Wallace


This thesis reports research focused on the well-being and employment experiences of mothers who have a child with special health care needs. Data are drawn from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). This is a public access database. The thesis uses the social ecological theory of Bronfenbrenner (1984) and the work of Zubrick et al. (2000) on human and social capital to inform the conceptual framework developed for the research. Four studies are reported. LSAC has a nationally representative sample of Australian children and their families. The study is tracking the development of 10,000 children, with data collected every two years, from 2004 to 2018. This thesis uses data from the Kindergarten Cohort of LSAC. The 4,983 children in the Kindergarten Cohort were aged 4 years at recruitment into the study in 2004. The analyses in this thesis use child and family data from Wave 1 (2004) and Wave 2 (2006) for a subsample of the children who are identified as having special health needs. This identification is based on a short screening questionnaire included in the Parent 1 Interview at each wave of the data collection. It is the children who are identified as having special health care needs which can be broadly defined as chronic health conditions or developmental difficulties. However, it is the well-being and employment experiences of the mothers of these children that are the primary focus in three of the four studies reported in this thesis

Topics: mothers, young children, special needs, maternal well-being
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2011
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