Parents' Perception of Professional Contacts During their Adaptation to Caring for a Child with Disabilities

  • Author / Creator
    Intaprasert, Wanapa
  • Abstract The key objective of this study was to identify and describe parents’ perceptions of professional practices that enhanced or undermined their parental roles and their relationships with their children who have disabilities. In phase one, participants in a focus group were asked to generate responses to the two open-ended questions: (1) “Please describe the important things that professionals have said or done that made you feel better or more secure in your relationship with your child and your role as a parent of a child with a disability”, and (2) “Please describe the important things that professionals have said or done that made you feel worse or less secure in your relationship with your child and your role as a parent of a child with a disability.” Two lists of statements were generated, sorted, and rated by participants. Consequently, multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to analyze the data to create concept maps. The parents’ positive perceptions of professional practices consisted of 5 themes: (1) Supportive services from health professionals, (2) Psychological support from health professionals, (3) Supportive care-workers, (4) Social services help with home-life balance, and (5) Supportive school professionals. The parents’ negative perceptions of professional contacts consisted of 6 themes: (1) Inadequacy of school professionals, (2) Conflict with health professionals, (3) Professionals’ ignorance, (4) Social service professionals’ lack of empathy, (5) Fight for social services, and (6) Funding issues. In phase two, an incidence survey was developed based upon parents’ reported statements. Administering the survey to parents of individuals with disabilities who attended the Elves Special Needs Society programs in Edmonton, Alberta, determined the extent to which other parents perceived similar positive or negative experiences with professional contacts. All 5 clusters from the map on parents’ positive perceptions of professional practices received a significant amount of agreement responses. Respondent variability existed at the level of individual items within “inadequacy of school professionals” and “conflict with health professionals” categories. The findings are important to guide practice for professionals in the field of disabilities services.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Special Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Larsen, Denise (Educational Psychology)
    • Sobsey, Richard (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Larsen, Denise (Educational Psychology)
    • Georgiou, George (Educational Psychology)
    • McConnell, David (Occupational Therapy)
    • Ray, Lynne (Nursing Faculty)
    • Sobsey, Richard (Educational Psychology)
    • Ludlow, Barbara (West Virginia University)