OBJECTIVE: To examine qualitatively the experiences of parents participating in Parent to Parent programs.
METHOD: Twenty-four parents of children with special needs, a subset of subjects in a larger quantitative study, participated in a semi-structured telephone interview to explore the impact and meaning of being matched with a trained supporting parent.
RESULTS: Qualitative analysis reveals a successful match is contingent upon creation of a "reliable ally" in the supporting parent, comprised of four main components: (1) perceived sameness, (2) situational comparisons that enable learning and growth, (3) round-the-clock availability of support, and (4) mutuality of support.
CONCLUSIONS: Parent to Parent support creates a community of similar others trained to listen and be supportive and provides an opportunity for matched parents to experience equality and mutuality in their relationship. Findings also identify the need for quality control in Parent to Parent programs and the importance of such programs as an adjunct to traditional professional services.
Published In/Presented At
Ainbinder JG, Blanchard LW, Singer GH, Sullivan ME, Powers LK, Marquis JG, Santelli B. A qualitative study of Parent to Parent support for parents of children with special needs. Consortium to evaluate Parent to Parent. J Pediatr Psychol. 1998 Apr;23(2):99-109. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/23.2.99. PMID: 9585636.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Community Health and Health Studies