Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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  • Topic: Implications of hearing loss on caregivers
  • Title: "Explaining unending loss: Chronic sorrow and families of children with low incidence, multiple disabilities"
  • Contact information: Judith A. Niemeyer, Ph. D., Mary V. Compton, Ed.D., CCC/SLP, Rosalie Parrish
  • University: Each individual is affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
  • Type of research: Qualitative
  • Subject pool: Mothers of children with low incidence, multiple disabilities, including families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Setting: In a setting designated by the mothers as quiet and comfortable
  • Number: 5 families
  • Research Description: The proposed research will explore the topic of chronic sorrow in families of children with low incidence, multiple disabilities. The research questions include: 1) Do mothers of children with low incidence, multiple disabilities experience chronic sorrow? And 2) What are the variables that these mothers perceive as contributing to chronic sorrow? A series of two interviews will be conducted with each of the mothers. The interviews will be audio-taped. The first interview will be open-ended and examine mothers views of parenting a child with multiple disabilities, including any challenges or stressors. After the interview, the mothers will be provided with a brief description of chronic sorrow. After three weeks, these mothers will be interviewed again using a structured interview protocol. These questions will be formulated based on the initial interview and focused on the concept of chronic sorrow. The rationale for the second interview is to determine if these mothers view chronic sorrow as something they experience as a result of the information provided to them about the concept. It is anticipated that the information from this study will inform practices of professionals working with families who have a child with low incidence and multiple disabilities. After each interview, the audio-tapes will be transcribed and the mothers will be asked to review the transcripts for accuracy. Once the mothers verify the content, the interviews will be analyzed for evolving themes using a two stage process. First, the interview information will be analyzed identifying common threads which will then be condensed into specific themes. Information from the two interviews will be analyzed independently and used to provide information related to the above research questions. Reliability will be ascertained by a second reader analyzing the interviews and identifying the themes and comparing the results of each reader’s analysis. This research is in the developing stages so, additional information will be forthcoming.

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