Perceived Need of Directors for Family Therapy-Related Services in a Child Care or Preschool Setting
Haines, Lisa Catherine
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The purpose of this study was to investigate preschool and child care directors' perceptions about the potential for introducing family therapy-related services into a child care or preschool environment, and in particular, to explore their opinions about the extent to which children are affected by parental stress, to assess directors' awareness of the field of marriage and family therapy, to determine the extent of their current collaboration with family therapists or other mental health providers, and to gather their thoughts concerning the possibility of successfully bridging the professions of child care and family therapy in the future. Seventy-two of the 197 directors surveyed responded to the mailed questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative data, while the qualitative data was evaluated using the method of content analysis. Quantitative results revealed: 1) Most of the participants believed that children are at least somewhat affected by their parents' stress, 2) Over half of the participants were familiar with marriage and family therapists as trained professionals who focus on systemic treatment of the family as a whole unit, 3) Less than half of the participants currently offer on-site mental health services, 4) While it seems that participants routinely refer parents to and consult with mental health providers, they are least likely to consult with or refer to marriage and family therapists, and 5) Almost all of the participants identified at least one obstacle to providing family therapy-related services in their child care centers or preschools. Limitations and implications for clinicians and future research are also discussed.
- Masters Theses