Wellbeing of mothers of children with “A-U-T-I-S-M” in Malaysia: an interpretative phenomenological analysis study

Ilias, K., Liaw, J.H.J., Cornish, K., Park, M.S.-A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1269-6856 and Golden, K.J., 2017. Wellbeing of mothers of children with “A-U-T-I-S-M” in Malaysia: an interpretative phenomenological analysis study. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 42 (1), pp. 74-89. ISSN 1366-8250

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This qualitative study aimed to explore how mothers gave meaning to their experiences of raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Malaysia.


Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, semistructured interviews were conducted with 8 Malaysian mothers from different ethnic backgrounds (4 Chinese, 3 Malays, and 1 Indian).


Three themes for the mothers’ adaptation and wellbeing development were identified, including Problem realisation within the context: Learning to spell A-U-T-I-S-M in Malaysia, WE are living with autism, and Resilient overcoming: Climbing Mount Kinabalu. The mothers viewed their child’s ASD symptoms and behaviour problems (e.g., hyperactivity and sleep difficulties) as taking a toll on wellbeing. However, coping strategies, including acceptance, proactive mindset, character growth, spirituality, and parent support networks, fostered wellbeing.


Both intrapersonal and interpersonal protective processes were important. The findings suggested that Seligman’s (2011) PERMA framework may be applicable to understanding parental wellbeing. Clinical, policy, and research suggestions were discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
Creators: Ilias, K., Liaw, J.H.J., Cornish, K., Park, M.S.-A. and Golden, K.J.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis on behalf of the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID)
Date: 2017
Volume: 42
Number: 1
ISSN: 1366-8250
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ 4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 09 Apr 2019 09:16
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 09:16
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/36213

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