Objective: To explore and reflect upon Black African parental experiences of educational psychologist involvement
It is paramount to engage Black African families in educational psychology matters that affect Black African children. There is a need to explore possible enablers and barriers towards black parents engagement with Educational Psychology Service and other professionals. The practice of educational psychologists and colleagues within Los Angeles could be improved by the participation of black parents. Black parents should also work with Educational Psychology Service in a collective effort to help children reach their goals.
Studies have revealed that most black parents are disengaged with school systems and children services in general because they have no confidence with professionals who work with children. The studies further suggest that parents should be involved in discussions about needs of their children.
Barriers to parental involvement in EPS are physical, social and fear of stigmatization. Physical barriers in this context refer to familys lack of knowledge about local services that could be assistance to them such as access to childrens centers; transportation difficulties could be another physical barrier. Social barriers are impediments such as gender and ethnicity that prevent parents from engaging with services providers. Stigmatization in this context refers to parental fears of being judged as being the cause of a childs difficulties as well as the fear of being categorized as a bad parent.
A good relationship between parents and professionals in child services is impactful in parents engagement with EPS.
I did learn that studies about black families participation in educational psychology service are absent. I also learned that black parents do not regularly engage with EPS.
Twenty-five families took part in the study and were selected through purposive sampling procedure. The study was conducted by involving families who readily engaged with EPS and families that engaged with EPS after an initial resistance. Descriptive data and Family support scale were used in the study. A semi-structured interview format with 12 questions was used to gain information about needs of children, family support, professional intervention, post intervention outcomes and issues about engagement. Data was analyzed by use of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA).
It was revealed that attitudes towards SEN influence decision making on whether to engage with EPs. Acknowledgment by parents on needs of their children was established to be rooted in religious belief systems. Fear of shame, stigmatization, and fear of being derided because of having children with special needs deters parents from engaging with SEN. Parents were established to experience a high level of anxiety when waiting to confirm (diagnosed) if their children were special needs children.
I feel that the research questions were answered adequately because all issues that pertain to this study were addressed.
The study can be improved by increasing the number of study participants.
One research idea I can think of is the effectiveness of SEN in assisting children with special needs.
The findings of this article are consistent with similar studies with regard to revealing factors that deter Black parents from fully engaging with EPS.
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