This study examined what parents of children with disabilities and special needs found helpful about belonging to mutual support groups. Quantitative data (based on 56 parents from 6 groups) indicated that members found the groups very helpful and were very satisfied with the support they received from their groups; they also described the groups as high in cohesion, expressiveness, task orientation, and self-discovery. A grounded theory analysis of focus group data (based on 43 parents from 5 of the groups) indicated that such support was helpful in three broad domains: (1) the sociopolitical, which involved developing a sense of control and agency in the outside world; (2) the interpersonal, which involved asense of belonging to a community; and (3) the intraindividual, which involved self change. A central theme of identity change emerged as superordinate to these three categories.
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Solomon, M., Pistrang, N. & Barker, C. The Benefits of Mutual Support Groups for Parents of Children With Disabilities. Am J Community Psychol 29, 113–132 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005253514140
- mutual support groups
- children with disabilities