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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mothers' experiences : participating in the feedback conference of their chld's psychoeducational assessment Merkel, Carla


A comprehensive psychoeducational assessment for a child who is having learning or behavioural difficulties is a significant event for parents. It helps them understand their child’s cognitive and learning needs, and support the ongoing development of their children by determining the educational support given at home, and additional services that need to be provided. How parents view the overall assessment and the psychologist’s recommendations can have a great impact on what decisions they make for the child following the assessment; it forms the basis for how they approach their child’s difficulties and meet his/her needs. However, there are few studies that examine parents’ experience with this assessment process. The purpose of this study was to understand mothers’ experiences with participating in the feedback conference for their child’s psychoeducational assessment and to explore the experiences that influenced their ability to follow through with the recommendations made by the psychologist. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology was used to analyze the interview data from eight mothers of elementary school-age children who had a psychoeducational assessment within the past year. The emphasis of this study was on the meaning of this experience for mothers. Three broad themes and 11 subthemes emerged from the analysis of mothers’ experiences with the feedback conference, which included: Experiences of Finding Out, Emotional Experiences, and Experiences of Satisfaction. With respect to follow through with recommendations, eight subthemes were identified, which were grouped into three broad themes: Experiences Facilitating Follow Through, Experiences Inhibiting Follow Through, and Experiences Facilitating or Inhibiting Follow Through. These themes are presented and discussed in relation to the existing literature. Implications of the study, strengths and limitations and suggestions for future research are also addressed.

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