Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Gregory Hamot

Abstract

An analysis of experiences of immigrant parents, in a Midwestern college community, accessing services for their child with a disability. A qualitative study using phenomenological theory was used wherein access to services was explored from the parents lived experience. Four immigrant parents were chosen using purposive sampling. Grand tour questions were asked leading to follow-up questions based on respondent answers. Interviews were audio recorded in a location chosen by respondents, and transcribed. Home environment and interactions with child were noted. Grounded theory emerged from analysis using the constant comparative method. Transcripts were read multiple times and categories began to emerge. Based on emergent categories transcripts were cut into segments and categorized accordingly. Comparisons of categories led to reanalysis and emergence of three primary themes; experience of accessing services, feelings about services, and factors affecting experience of accessing services. To enhance credibility, negative case analysis was used to incorporate differential experiences. Thick description was used to increase transferability. Dependability and Confirmability were addressed using an audit process. Two parallel theories emerged from the analysis; one regarding factors leading to positive experiences of accessing services, one regarding factors leading to negative experiences. The theories are supported by original data from the interviews and show how providers, the Department of Human Services, school systems and advocates can improve the situation. This study adds knowledge by exploring a previously unexplored type of community in this research area, but is limited by researcher requirement of English speaking respondents.

Public Abstract

In this study, four immigrant parents, in a Midwestern university community, who have children with disabilities were interviewed to see what it has been like to get services for their child and what quality those services have been. Initial questions were developed, then the interviews flowed from answers given by the parents. Interviews were audio recorded in places chosen by the parents.

To analyze the interviews I read them multiple times and started seeing categories developing. Interviews were cut up and put into categories. The categories were compared and combined into bigger categories. From this process major themes developed. Those themes were; experience of accessing services, feelings about services, and factors affecting experience of accessing services. To enhance the trustworthiness of the analysis a technique of looking at cases not fitting with the other cases and incorporating them into the theory was used. A thorough description of the parents and the community are included in order to indicate how transferable the results are to other situations. An audit of procedures and analysis was conducted by a professor to ensure that they were completed properly.

Two theories emerged; one regarding what led to positive experiences, one regarding what led to negative experiences. Recommendations for providers, the Department of Human Services, the school system, and disability advocates are included. This study is important because it explores a type of community that has not been studied in this research area before. A limitation was that the parents had to speak English.

Keywords

publicabstract, Disability, Immigrants, Qualitative, Services

Pages

ix, 83 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-83).

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Rochelle Renee Honey-Arcement

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