My child is not my carer: Mothers with physical disabilities and the well-being of children

Ora Prilleltensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This article describes a qualitative study on the experiences of mothers with physical disabilities. Two focus groups were held for mothers with young children and mothers of older children. Eight mothers also participated in in-depth interviews. All have a physical impairment, most are wheelchair users. This article focuses on (a) participants' attempts to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of their children; (b) their child-rearing philosophies and practices; and (c) the overall nature of the parent-child relationship. A range of parenting practices, experiences and relationships was reported. The variability of experiences notwithstanding, participants' life stories demonstrate a strong commitment to children, actions to ensure their care and well-being, and attempts to shield them from any burden related to the maternal disability. Whilst challenges and barriers were candidly reported, by and large, they do not overshadow the joy and fulfilment that these women derive from motherhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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