This project involves a qualitative approach to inquiry with the purpose of exploration and description of the coping processes used by Latina mothers while their young adult sons have been incarcerated. A sample of twenty (20) low income Latina mothers will be recruited at El Nido, a family life education service center in Los Angeles County, to participate in open-ended interviews conducted by a bilingual, bicultural public health nurse (the study PI). The interview questions will target different types of coping processes: emotional (how they felt), cognitive (what they thought) and behavioral (what they did). Also, Latinas will be interviewed about the resources that they used for coping, including personal, social, cultural and physical/material. Field notes will be made to record thoughts, impressions, and observations of interactions. The interviews will be transcribed preserving the code-switching (shifting between English and Spanish) commonly use by Latinos in Southern California. Data collection and analysis will be guided by Constructivist Grounded Theory and Atlas.ti software will be used to organize codes and memos. During initial coding, data will be compared to data and in vivo codes that condense a great deal of meaning in short, original phrases stated by the participants that provide insight into specific meanings or experiences will be identified. Focused coding will involve the most significant or frequent initial codes which will group together to form analytic categories. Categories will be analyzed to uncover subcategories, dimensions and properties within the category. A final level of coding, theoretical coding will be done to identify possible relationships between the categories. Rigor will be enhanced in this qualitative method by use of researcher reflexivity in which the researcher will describe, analyze and critique her own beliefs and biases in ongoing memos to increase her interpretive focus on the women themselves. In addition, an audit trail will be generated, utilizing Atlas.ti to make the data management process transparent at all stages of the project, including: raw data (the interview transcriptions), data reduction and analysis, data reconstruction and synthesis, process notes, intentions and dispositions and theory development.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this study is to understand how Latina mothers cope when their young adult son is taken into custody, by hearing about the experiences. The nurse researcher will interview 20 Latina mothers who have a son incarcerated and ask them to describe how they felt (emotion), what they thought and think (cognitive coping) and what they did and do (behavioral coping) to cope. The nurse researcher will also ask them to describe how their social lives and financial resources were affected by the incarceration of their young adult son/s. The 20 interviews will be recorded, transcribed and then studied very carefully to inform nursing models of the coping processes. The women who are interviewed will remain anonymous and what they share will be confidential.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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National Institute of Nursing Research Initial Review Group (NRRC)
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Banks, David
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Nursing
Los Angeles
United States
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