Experiences of the relationship between adolescents with asthma and their parents
Rossouw, Marike Jana
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This study focuses on the experiences of the relationship between adolescents with asthma and their parents. Even though asthma has been described as the most common chronic illness in adolescence, very little research has been undertaken on the combined impact of asthma on the parent-adolescent relationship. The goal of this study was to explore and describe how adolescents with asthma and their parents experience their relationships with each other. The research was conducted from a qualitative research approach and followed a case study design. This allowed the researcher to develop an understanding of the meaning that the participants gave to their life experiences. A total of four families consisting of one adolescent and two parents each was purposefully selected and obtained with the assistance of a medical practitioner specialising in pulmonary disease in Bloemfontein. The adolescents had to be between the ages of 14 and 18, formally diagnosed with asthma by a medical practitioner and currently be taking medication prescribed by the relevant practitioner. In addition they had to be living with both of their biological parents in the same household. The qualitative data were gathered in the form of individual reflective journals, semi-structured group interviews and unstructured individual interviews. The researcher's objective was to understand and interpret the meanings the participants gave to their own experiences, which were further done through field notes, member checking, and drawings participants made in the reflective journals. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed by the researcher. Thematic data analysis was used to transform the journal entries and transcribe data into meaningful information. The drawings made in the journals were analysed with the assistance of participants, thus a shared analysis. The Constant Comparative method was used to identify themes related to the research question from the researcher's field notes. The principles and strategies for ensuring the trustworthiness of the data were done through crystallisation. The findings of the study revealed that adolescents and their parents experienced mixed emotions in terms of asthma and the impact asthma had on their relationships. The adolescents‟ and parents‟ beliefs concerning the topics of the research were often contradictory. It was evident that they experience specific and often contrasting roles and responsibilities regarding the management of asthma in the parent-adolescent relationship, and most families had to make significant adjustments in their family lifestyle and relationships as a result of the adolescents‟ asthma.
- Humanities