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Title: Parents of children with disabilities : exploring the reasons for seeking help for sleep problems
Author: McHugh, Annie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 5349
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Sleep problems in children with disabilities are highly prevalent and impact upon the child’s, their parent’s and their family’s emotional and physical well-being. Research suggests that cognitive-behavioural interventions based on parental involvement can be effective for children experiencing these problems but there appear to be challenges in engaging parents in services and completing interventions. Research into this area has considered influences on parental help-seeking for sleep problems but has been limited by a focus on barriers to help-seeking and a lack of qualitative approaches. The aim of this study was to explore parents’ experiences of sleep problems, the ways in which they understand and talk about sleep problems and what influences seeking help for sleep problems. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten parents of children with disabilities and sleep problems who had been referred to a specialist sleep service. Thematic Analysis (TA) of the interviews was underpinned by a critical realist epistemology and informed by Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase model of TA. Results: Five themes, which seemed to be relevant to this group were constructed through the analysis: 1) Identifying Sleep is a Problem describes how parents came to recognise sleep as a problem, 2) How to do Parenting describes how parents were influenced by ideals of parenting, 3) Escalation of the Sleep Problems: Eliciting a Help- Seeking Response describes the emotional experiences leading up to helpseeking, 4) Can you get Help for Sleep Problems? describes the limited knowledge parents had of services, 5) The Context of Parenting a Child with Disabilities refers to the overarching influence of this context. Conclusions: The findings are discussed in context with reference to the literature on parental help-seeking. The implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed in respect of the strengths and limitations of the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available