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Wednesday, June 17 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Mothers - Angela Veale, Sarah Robinson, Jane March-McDonald

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Abstract #67
War-Affected Young Mothers In Sierra Leone, Liberia And Northern Uganda: A Mixed-Method Exploration Of Resilience
Presenter: Angela Veale Co - Presenters: Miranda Worthen, Susan McKay
The United Nations Study on Women, Peace and Security (UN 2002) identified one of the major impacts of armed conflict on young women and communities is the increase in children born of forced pregnancy. Children born to girls and young women associated with armed forces or armed groups (CAAFAG) are frequently referred to as ‘rebel babies’ and can experience significant stigma on return to civilian communities.  In addition, children born from exploitative and unrecognized relationships such as through sexual violence, prostitution or transactional sex are also likely to experience marginalisation and isolation.  We present a participatory action research project which sought to promote community participation with a focus on girl mothers formerly associated with armed groups and their children and other vulnerable young mothers in their communities. The study involved a partnership between ten community-based non-governmental organization partners working at grass-roots levels with war-affected communities in the three countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and northern Uganda and national and international academics. Participants were 658 war-affected young mothers who collectively had over 1000 children. The presentation utilises a mixed-methods approach to examine predictors of child resilience based on a participatory survey with young mother participants, supported by ethnographic analysis.   A key finding was ‘resilience’ as a concept has to capture the inter-relatedness of change, whereby changes in one domain of life (community admiration, livelihoods, wellbeing, capacity to support) stimulated transformations in family relationships, reciprocal support, mutual respect and community networks.

Abstract #93
The Missing M In Mother And Baby Residential Interventions, A Grounded Theory Exploration Of Young Mothers Experience Of Transition From A Parental Baby Residential Unit For Families In Crisis
Presenter: Sarah Robinson Co - Presenters: Angela Veale
Transition from and between different mandated services has been identified as a confusing time (Ikeda, Hubley, Liebenberg & Participants of the Places to Resilience Project, 2013).  This paper seeks to explore the lived experience of transition from a residential parental baby unit for young mothers, initially recognized by mandated services in Ireland (Mental Health, Family and Child Services, Judicial etc.) as at risk of separation from their baby, due to child protection concerns.  This risk, however, is generally transformed during the 3-9 month residential intervention, with improvements in parenting reflective capacity, maternal mental health and mother-baby wellbeing observed.  The majority of mother-baby dyads generally transition together, as child protection concerns are abated.  Risks from some mothers remain, and these mothers transition alone without their baby. Through participatory research, both types of mothers participated in group discussions and creative methodologies (Veale, 2005) to explore the meaning of this transition and what factors help them sustain resilient outcomes achieved while in residence at the unit. Grounded theory analysis (Charmaz, 2006) supports the construction of actionable knowledge that will be of use to service-providers and practitioners seeking to understand protective processes in transition from such services and what factors sustain resilient outcomes.

Abstract #222
Somali Mothering In Exile: Cultural Notions of Risk, Protection and Resilience
Presenter: Jane March-McDonald 
This presentation is based upon a qualitative exploratory PhD study examining the nature of resilience in the daily lives of a small group of forced migrant Somali mothers living in the UK. The presentation focuses on findings related to Somali mothering and explores how the findings might confirm or challenge widely accepted Western notions of good mothering. 
Insights gained into the mothering role can further our understanding and appreciation of the aspirations, expectations and resilience that Somali mothers have and bring to the mothering role, while also highlighting the tensions and contradictions to be found in managing cultural notions of risk, protection and resilience. Mother’s perceived and experienced outside threat to their role and to their children’s wellbeing, evidences a need to work with families and communities in further exploring and understanding the specific cultural challenges that they may encounter mothering in a Western culture. At the same time the difficulties of working with competing and contradictory notions of protective mothering, that are at odds with western thinking, leaves questions as to how professionals and the wider community may best respond to effectively support these Somali mothers mothering in challenging circumstances.


Angela Veale

University College Cork
Dr. at UCC As a researcher, Dr. Veale aims to contribute in the space between academic knowledge, policy and practice. She is interested in innovative and mixed research methodologies, in particular working with creative research methods. Her research and writing takes a socio-cultural... Read More →
avatar for Jane March-McDonald

Jane March-McDonald

Lecturer Public Health/ Programme Lead Specialist Community Public Health Nursing/Researcher, University of southampton
Jane is a nurse, midwife and health visitor and is currently lecturer and programme lead for the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing programme in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. Jane's research interests include: the health and wellbeing of marginalized... Read More →

Sarah Robinson

School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork
Sarah Robinson is a first year PHD candidate in the University College Cork (UCC), Republic of Ireland. She is interesed in community and critical psychology, post-conflict and conflict transitions, life transitions and resilience, and humanitarianism. She is a graduate of the higher... Read More →


Susan McKay

Professor at University of Wyoming Susan McKay, Ph.D. is a psychologist, nurse and Professor of Women's and International Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming, USA. For almost two decades, she has taught and researched issues focused upon women, girls, and armed... Read More →

Angela Veale

University College Cork
Dr. at UCC As a researcher, Dr. Veale aims to contribute in the space between academic knowledge, policy and practice. She is interested in innovative and mixed research methodologies, in particular working with creative research methods. Her research and writing takes a socio-cultural... Read More →

Miranda Worthen

Assistant Professor at San Jose state University Dr. Miranda Worthen is assistant professor in Health Science and Recreation at San Jose State University. has reseahed primarily been in conflict or post-conflict countries. Dr. Worthen has worked extensively in Africa and Asia, as... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Haliburton Room A&A Main Floor, King's College

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