Family health narratives: midlife women's concepts of vulnerability to illness.

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10149/48908
Title:
Family health narratives: midlife women's concepts of vulnerability to illness.
Authors:
Lindenmeyer, A. (Antje); Griffiths, F. (Frances); Green, E. E. (Eileen); Thompson, D. (Diane); Tsouroufli, M. (Maria)
Affiliation:
University of Warwick; University of Teesside; University of Hertfordshire; University of Cardiff.; Social Futures Institute. Unit for Social and Policy Research.
Citation:
Lindenmeyer, A. et al. (2008) 'Family health narratives: midlife women's concepts of vulnerability to illness', Health, 12 (3) pp.275-93.
Publisher:
Sage
Journal:
Health (London, England)
Issue Date:
Jul-2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10149/48908
DOI:
10.1177/1363459308090049
PubMed ID:
18579628
Abstract:
Perceptions of vulnerability to illness are strongly influenced by the salience given to personal experience of illness in the family. This article proposes that this salience is created through autobiographical narrative, both as individual life story and collectively shaped family history. The article focuses on responses related to health in the family drawn from semi-structured interviews with women in a qualitative study exploring midlife women's health. Uncertainty about the future was a major emergent theme. Most respondents were worried about a specified condition such as heart disease or breast cancer. Many women were uncertain about whether illness in the family was inherited. Some felt certain that illness in the family meant that they were more vulnerable to illness or that their relatives' ageing would be mirrored in their own inevitable decline, while a few expressed cautious optimism about the future. In order to elucidate these responses, we focused on narratives in which family members' appearance was discussed and compared to that of others in the family. The visualization of both kinship and the effects of illness led to strong similarities being seen as grounds for worry. This led to some women distancing themselves from the legacies of illness in their families. Women tended to look at the whole family as the context for their perceptions of vulnerability, developing complex patterns of resemblance or difference within their families.
Language:
en
Keywords:
attitude to health; educational status; family; female; genetic predisposition to disease; Great Britain; humans; interviews as topic; middle aged; narration; women's health
ISSN:
1363-4593
Rights:
Subject to restrictions, author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). For full details see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ [Accessed 6/11/09]
Citation Count:
0 [Web of Science and Scopus, 6/11/2009]

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorLindenmeyer, A. (Antje)-
dc.contributor.authorGriffiths, F. (Frances)-
dc.contributor.authorGreen, E. E. (Eileen)-
dc.contributor.authorThompson, D. (Diane)-
dc.contributor.authorTsouroufli, M. (Maria)-
dc.date.accessioned2009-02-11T14:20:53Z-
dc.date.available2009-02-11T14:20:53Z-
dc.date.issued2008-07-
dc.identifier.citationHealth; 12 (3):275-93en
dc.identifier.issn1363-4593-
dc.identifier.pmid18579628-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/1363459308090049-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10149/48908-
dc.description.abstractPerceptions of vulnerability to illness are strongly influenced by the salience given to personal experience of illness in the family. This article proposes that this salience is created through autobiographical narrative, both as individual life story and collectively shaped family history. The article focuses on responses related to health in the family drawn from semi-structured interviews with women in a qualitative study exploring midlife women's health. Uncertainty about the future was a major emergent theme. Most respondents were worried about a specified condition such as heart disease or breast cancer. Many women were uncertain about whether illness in the family was inherited. Some felt certain that illness in the family meant that they were more vulnerable to illness or that their relatives' ageing would be mirrored in their own inevitable decline, while a few expressed cautious optimism about the future. In order to elucidate these responses, we focused on narratives in which family members' appearance was discussed and compared to that of others in the family. The visualization of both kinship and the effects of illness led to strong similarities being seen as grounds for worry. This led to some women distancing themselves from the legacies of illness in their families. Women tended to look at the whole family as the context for their perceptions of vulnerability, developing complex patterns of resemblance or difference within their families.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSage-
dc.rightsSubject to restrictions, author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). For full details see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ [Accessed 6/11/09]-
dc.subjectattitude to health-
dc.subjecteducational status-
dc.subjectfamily-
dc.subjectfemale-
dc.subjectgenetic predisposition to disease-
dc.subjectGreat Britain-
dc.subjecthumans-
dc.subjectinterviews as topic-
dc.subjectmiddle aged-
dc.subjectnarration-
dc.subjectwomen's health-
dc.titleFamily health narratives: midlife women's concepts of vulnerability to illness.en
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Warwick; University of Teesside; University of Hertfordshire; University of Cardiff.-
dc.contributor.departmentSocial Futures Institute. Unit for Social and Policy Research.en
dc.identifier.journalHealth (London, England)en
ref.citationcount0 [Web of Science and Scopus, 6/11/2009]en
or.citation.harvardLindenmeyer, A. et al. (2008) 'Family health narratives: midlife women's concepts of vulnerability to illness', Health, 12 (3) pp.275-93.en

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