Title page for ETD etd-12192007-004745


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gillum, Myra H.
URN etd-12192007-004745
Title A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF PARENTS' EXPERIENCES OF HAVING HAD AN ADOLESCENT SON IN A RESIDENTIAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Chair
Hendrickson, Edward L. Committee Member
Huebner, Angela J. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Parents of Adolescents
Date of Defense 2007-11-27
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Despite the fact that much information is available in the literature regarding

adolescents with a substance abuse problem, little exists that focuses on the parents'

personal experience dealing with this problem. Not many researchers actually

interviewed parents--when they did, it was usually for parents' observations of their

adolescent or their views of treatment success--and seemingly none did so for the purpose

of allowing parents to tell their own story in their own words. Furthermore, most of the

existing literature has tended to see such parents in terms of their deficits, even when

advocating the importance of their being included in the treatment process. Through the

lens of a Family Systems perspective and by allowing parents to speak for themselves,

this preliminary study explores what it was like for three parents to have had their sons go

through a residential substance abuse treatment program. Six categories emerged from

the semi-structured interviews: initial departure, settling in, homecoming, resources,

costs and losses, and advice to other parents and professionals. The findings expand the

primarily negative view of such parents to include a richer and more complex

understanding.

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