A Multiple Case Study of Caregivers’ Experiences of a Psychoeducational Support Group for Caregivers of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): An Embedded Mixed Methods Study

  • Author / Creator
    Roger, Katherine M
  • Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) can experience a number of neurocognitive deficits and associated adverse outcomes. Stable home life helps protect children with FASD against adverse outcomes; however, their primary caregivers typically have significantly higher levels of stress, which can affect the quality of caregiver-child interactions. Education and support groups have been found to be effective for decreasing stress and increasing feelings of competence for caregivers of children with disabilities. The primary aim of this embedded mixed methods case study was to explore the impact of a psychoeducational support group for three adoptive and kinship caregivers of a child diagnosed or suspected of having FASD. Quantitative data (i.e., questionnaires) was enhanced and augmented by qualitative data (i.e., interviews, observations, and feedback forms). Feelings of hope, changing perspectives, learning about disability-specific information, creating social connections, and opportunities to hear and share experiences were particularly helpful for caregivers. Stress was also a large factor for caregivers, and questionnaires indicated all caregivers were experiencing high levels of stress, both before and after the intervention. Despite reports that the group helped caregivers deal with stress, only interviews underscored these changes; thus, collecting both quantitative and qualitative information was helpful for understanding caregivers’ experiences. Implications for practice based on these experiences include the benefits of a needs assessment for caregivers, the value of a knowledgeable facilitator, the importance of group cohesion and the inclusion of a range of caregivers, the necessity to remove barriers for attendance, and the need to provide access to additional services for caregivers. These findings will help inform recommendations for future education and support groups for caregivers of children with FASD.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • 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
  • Specialization
    • School & Child Clinical Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Watson, Shelley (Psychology)
    • Poth, Cheryl (Educational Psychology)
    • Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Yohani, Sophie (Educational Psychology)