"It should have been happening to me": The psychosocial issues older caregiving mothers experience

Victoria H. Raveis, Sheindy Pretter, Monique Carrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The occurrence of cancer is an event of significant importance to family functioning. The present analysis reports on an understudied group profoundly affected by this health event: older mothers caring for an adult child with cancer. As part of a study of breast cancer survivors and their family caregivers, a subsample (N = 13) of older caregiving mothers (mean age 68) participated in focused interviews. The interviews, conducted in English or Spanish, were audio-taped, transcribed, and subjected to content analysis. Analyses of the mothers' accounts elucidate complex psychosocial reactions to their adult daughters' cancer diagnosis that are informed by life-cycle considerations. These reactions, which include a reawakening of maternal behavior, a need to come to terms with the asynchronous nature of their daughters' health event, and an intense feeling of personal responsibility, illustrate the need for family-centered care in oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Adult daughters
  • Breast cancer
  • Caregiving
  • Family centered
  • Mother-daughter relationship
  • Parent caregiver
  • Personal vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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