The Impact of Self-Narratives of Motherhood for Mothers of Children with Autism

Jerzy Trzebiński , Agnieszka Wołowicz-Ruszkowska , Adrian Dominik Wójcik


The main goal of this study was to identify the impact of a narrative construction of a life challenge - discovering to have a child with autism - on the meaning of life and on resources for coping depending on the challenge’s novelty, i.e. the number of years from the diagnosis. 364 mothers of children with autism participated in a long–term 3x2 experiment. Half of the mothers had children with autism at the age of 9–12 years. For the remaining half, having children with autism was a new and stressful life situation. Their children were 2–3 years old and just diagnosed by a medical center as having autism spectrum disorder. The mothers were assigned to one of three study conditions: they were either asked to write stories of their motherhood or to describe their children’s behavior on a questionnaire or they did not participate in any tasks. One month and then four months after this task the participants completed measures of meaning of life and several well–being scales. The results indicated that following the narrative writing the participants had the highest scores on the meaning of life and well–being scales. This affect was sustained over 4 months and was significant only for mothers with older children. The mediation analysis showed that the effects of the experimental conditions on different well–being scales were mediated by the changes in perceived meaning of life. The results suggest that construction of self–narratives of difficult ongoing challenges facilitates meaning making and subsequently strengthens resources for coping. However, it seems that a meaning-making construction of such self–story may be blocked by the uncertainty and stress caused by novelty of the challenging situation.
Author Jerzy Trzebiński (Wydział Psychologii)
Jerzy Trzebiński,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Agnieszka Wołowicz-Ruszkowska
Agnieszka Wołowicz-Ruszkowska,,
, Adrian Dominik Wójcik
Adrian Dominik Wójcik,,
Journal seriesFrontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets94.95
Keywords in Englishself-narrative, impact of self-narrative, stories of own motherhood, coping
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Trzebiński FRONIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY fpsyg-07-01899.pdf 1.1 MB
Trzebiński oświadczenie o publikacji IMG_20161205_0001.pdf 164.23 KB
Score (nominal)35
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.006; WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 2.323 (2) - 2016=2.822 (5)
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