Melissa Hayden Bellin, MSW, is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD.
The Experience of Adolescent Women Living with Spina Bifida Part I: Self-Concept and Family Relationships
Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012
2007 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 57–67, March-April 2007
How to Cite
Bellin, M. H., Sawin, K. J., Roux, G., Buran, C. F. and Brei, T. J. (2007), The Experience of Adolescent Women Living with Spina Bifida Part I: Self-Concept and Family Relationships. Rehabilitation Nursing, 32: 57–67. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2007.tb00153.x
- Issue online: 27 MAR 2012
- Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012
- functional status;
- spina bifida
Adolescent women with spina bifida (SB) face unique and diverse challenges. The purpose of this qualitative component of a larger mixed-method study on adaptation was to heighten rehabilitation nurses' understanding of self-concept and family relationships during adolescence. Interviews were conducted with 31 adolescent women and analyzed for themes. The women described a range of experiences, including challenges of typical adolescence, specific concerns about living with SB, school-based stressors, and incidences of teasing and bullying. The overall self-concept was primarily positive, despite the diverse stressors encountered. A significant source of strength was the close relationships with parents, although an undercurrent of tension related to independence was also expressed. Results from this study support the need for rehabilitation nurses to address not only the functional status but also the well-being and psychosocial challenges of adolescent women with SB.