Method: Fifteen hearing mothers of children with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and a grounded theory approach was used to inductively analyze parental stress in mothers of D/HH children. Theory generation was achieved through triangulation of data sources and systematic organization of data into codes. The coding process identified salient themes that were constantly cross-checked and compared across data to further develop categories, properties, and tentative hypotheses.
Results: In general, two main themes emerged from the interviews: the contextual stressors and stress-reducing resources. The contextual stressors were labeled as distress over audiology-related needs, pressure to acquire new knowledge and skills, apprehension about the child's future, and demoralizing negative social attitudes. The stress-reducing resources that moderated parenting stress were identified to be the child's progress, mother's characteristics, professional support, and social support. The interaction between the identified stressors and adjustment process uncovered a central theme termed maternal coherence.
Conclusion: The substantive theory suggests that mothers of D/HH children can effectively manage parenting stress and increase well-being by capitalizing on relevant stress-reducing resources to achieve maternal coherence.