PARENTS WITHOUT CHILDREN: COPING PATTERNS OF PARENTS WHO PLACE CHILDREN
SIEGEL, LORRAINE PELTZ
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This dissertation examines the parents of children placed in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. The center in this case is Pleasantville Cottage School.;The purpose of this study is to gain more understanding of the meaning that placement has for the parent whose child is in a residential treatment center. In addition, it is concerned with how the meaning of the placement experience for the parent affects the future of the placed child. The parents in the sample studied are white middle class parents whose children are placed on a voluntary basis. They are divided into two groups--those whose children are being admitted to the treatment center and those whose children are being discharged to them.;The design of this study is exploratory--formulative and seeks to make discoveries about the group of individuals being examined. Therefore the approach to data collection is the case interview and the approach to data analysis is content analysis or the constant comparative method. The emphasis is on qualitative rather than quantitative data.;The parents in this study are viewed as being in a status passage which constitutes a crisis. Therefore status passage theory is the major theoretical orientation and crisis theory is the supplementary theoretical orientation. Four selected properties of status passage theory--reversibility, desirability, voluntary/involuntary, scheduled/non-scheduled and four selected properties of crisis theory--definition, threat, insoluble, overtaxed are used as the focus around which the data is collected and analyzed. Findings are organized and interpreted in terms of the amount of time spent in the interviews by the parents discussing the eight selected properties.;Findings supported the hypotheses of the study that parents of placed children are in a status passage which is experienced as a crisis at admission and at discharge of the child. The major implication of the study is that accommodation of the parent to placement is in conflict with parental ability to accommodate to child's return home.