2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.

Thursday, November 29 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
The Transition to Parenthood: Down Syndrome, Mood Disorders and Social Media

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The transition to parenthood is fraught with emotional and physical changes. This leads to a high likelihood of parents experiencing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression (Center for Disease Control [CDC], 2011). As many as one in eight women experience Postpartum Depression (PPD) in the United States and this may be exceeded by those with anxiety (CDC, 2016; Fairbrother et al., 2016). This is especially true for parents who are raising a child with a disability. Research has shown that these parents often exhibit higher rates of stress, depression, and anxiety (Miranda et al., 2015). For parents of children with Down syndrome specifically, perinatal depression and anxiety can be a significant concern. This is due to the fact that often these parents are not aware of the diagnosis before giving birth but receive the diagnosis within the first 24-48 hours following (Hall, Bobrow & Marteau, 1999). These parents are expected to cope with the diagnosis and all the new information this entails, with very little emotional support from people outside of family members (van der Veek, Kraaij & Garnefski, 2009). Although this is a common occurrence, there is a large lack of literature on the perinatal experiences of parents who have a child with Down syndrome, and how those experiences impact their mental and emotional well-being. However, many of these parents are very active on social media and in advocacy networks, and often use these outlets to discuss their experiences of receiving a diagnosis. This presentation will provide data and insights regarding perinatal depression and anxiety in parents of children with Down syndrome through an examination of "birth stories" on parent social media (i.e. blog posts, Instagram, facebook, etc.). Social media accounts of individuals who specifically identify in their biographies as a parent of a child with Down syndrome were investigated for stories relating to the time of receiving their child's diagnosis. These social media entries were then extracted, de-identified, and analyzed using thematic analysis and inductive open coding as part of qualitative methodology. The main themes from the analysis will be presented, along with areas of future research. Information for current practitioners and service providers will also be presented.

avatar for Rebecca Kammes

Rebecca Kammes

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Michigan State University

Thursday November 29, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Salon E - Lower Level 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201

Attendees (2)