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The experience of being a father of a son or daughter with an intellectual disability: Older fathers' perspectives

Background: As life expectancy for people with an intellectual disability increases, there is a growing cohort of older father carers. This study aimed to gain a more in‐depth understanding of older father carers' experiences of parenting. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 7 older fathers (M = 63.9 years) and analysed using constructivist grounded theory. Results: Three conceptual categories were identified. "Wearing different hats: how fathers' sense of identity had altered over the years. "Family comes first": importance placed on the family unit. "Getting on in years": the challenges faced by ageing fathers parenting their son/daughter. Conclusions: Fathers re‐evaluated their priorities and found a new identity in their parenting role, although they continued to see themselves as secondary carers. Fathers worried about the future as their health declined but drew strength from the benefits they had derived and the challenges that they had overcome to do their best for their son/daughter and their family.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Wiley
ISBN/ISSN
1360-2322
Publication Year
2021
Issue Number
1
Journal Titles
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume Number
34
Start Page
118
End Page
128