Major Project Research

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2009 Fall Grads
Karen Hurtubise

Purpose: Effective partnerships between families and service providers have been identified as the cornerstone of family-centered practice. Role negotiation is recognized as a key component to developing this effective partnership. The purpose of this study was to explore parents of young children's experience in role negotiation between themselves and their rehabilitation professionals.

Methods: Eleven parents of children under the age of 3 years receiving services through a rehabilitation program were interviewed.

Findings: Using qualitative research methodology and thematic analysis, two themes emerged: (1) roles and expectations, and (2) the evolution of a symbiotic relationship. Parents recognized their significant role in their child- care and had distinct expectations of the roles rehabilitation professionals should fulfill.

Conclusion: No formalized role negotiation process was identified. Instead, the evolution of a symbiotic parent-professional relationship was described in which dependency on professionals to meet parent specific needs subsequently fostered parent role assumption. This relationship appeared to be the precursor to the development of effective parent-professional collaboration and key to parent satisfaction with rehabilitation services.


Published Online:

Hurtubise, K., & Carpenter, C. (2011). Parents' experience with role negotiation within an infant services program. Infants and Young Children, 24(1), 75-86. doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3182008b39

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