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Vehicles for Change: Conversation and Collaboration in Support of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Open Access


Other title
Focus groups
Service delivery
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Job, Jenelle M.
Supervisor and department
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Rinaldi, Christina (Educational Psychology)
Janzen, Henry L. (Educational Psychology, Professor Emeritus)
Smith, Veronica (Educational Psychology)
Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
Green, Jennifer (Psychology, Miami University)
Department of Educational Psychology
School and Clinical Child Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) constitutes a highly complex and controversial public health concern among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and public citizens and can lead to devastating cognitive, physical, and functional impairments (Chudley et al., 2005; Streissguth & O’Malley, 2000). Caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, this preventable developmental disability damages the brain and central nervous system in critical and lasting ways. The permanency of the condition creates serious educational, social, and societal implications, as those affected often require lifelong support and resources (Ospina & Dennett, 2013; Streissguth et al., 1994). Increased scientific and practical knowledge are necessary for the advancement of targeted supports and the establishment of effective evidence-based interventions (Gould, Job, St. Arnault, Pei, & Poth, 2012). To that end, 5 published manuscripts comprise this dissertation, reporting data from two large-scale research studies focused on FASD service delivery in Alberta, Canada (Poth & Pei, 2012). A multi-methods research design rooted in phenomenology and thematic analysis is presented as an appropriate and trustworthy means of accessing stakeholder experiences and highlighting key areas of strength and weakness in FASD programs and services. One hundred and seven participants serving affected children across five roles and three settings emphasized the necessity of collaboration and communication and detailed barriers to the development of positive working relationships and effective agency within each service domain: prevention, assessment, and intervention. This dissertation contributes to the academic literature elements of a collaborative, intentional, and reflective service delivery approach that has the strong potential for informing future policy, strategic planning, and programming. Implications for research and practice specific to the education, care, and advocacy of children and families affected by FASD are discussed.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Job, J. M., Poth, C-A., Pei, J., Wyper, K., O’Riordan, T., & Taylor, L. (2014). Combining visual methods with focus groups: An innovative approach for capturing the multifaceted and complex work experiences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention specialists. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 3(1), 71-80.Atkinson, E., Job, J., Pei, J., Poth, C., O’Riordan, T., & Taylor, L. (2013). Capturing the experiences of FASD prevention workers through quilting. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 8(1), 122-129.Pei, J., Job, J. M., Poth, C., & Atkinson, E. (2013). Assessment for intervention of students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Perspectives of classroom teachers, administrators, caregivers, and allied professionals. Psychology, 4(3A), 325-334.Job, J. M., Poth, C. A., Pei, J., Caissie, B., Brandell, D., & Macnab, J. (2013). Toward better collaboration in the education of students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Integrating the voices of teachers, administrators, caregivers, and allied professionals. Qualitative Research in Education, 2(1), 38-64.Poth, C., Pei, J., Job, J. M., & Wyper, K. (2014). Toward intentional, reflective, and assimilative classroom practices with students with FASD. The Teacher Educator, 49(4), 247-264.

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