Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fielding student Angela Enlow presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Determining Parents’ Role Expectations within the Context of Pediatric Primary Care -- Angela Enlow, Student, School of Psychology

Psychopathology is prevalent in childhood and is a predictor of future problems. Pediatricians are the gatekeepers for childhood mental health, and the rate at which psychosocial problems are detected and treated within pediatric primary care has not been effectively identified in the extant literature, but appears to be low compared to the rate of parental and professional concerns around psychosocial problems. A major problem in the literature on discussion of psychosocial concerns in pediatric care lies in the methodology used. Although the studies mentioned above reflect a tendency for low disclosure of psychosocial concerns, many studies used disparate ways of operationalizing psychosocial concerns and obtaining data on disclosure of psychosocial concerns. Studies have also gathered information from various forms of pediatric practices (e.g., integrated, non-integrated, sites that received specialty training in eliciting and detecting psychosocial concerns).

The use of the integrated care model is one way in which psychosocial concerns may be elicited and treated. However, it is unknown whether parents are socialized for full participation in integrated care medical visits.

To date, there are no published studies that have attempted to determine parents’ role expectations within the context of pediatric primary care. Further, many patients have not experienced the services offered by integrated care practices. Because integrated care models acknowledge the importance of the biopsychosocial model, it is expected that discussion of psychosocial concerns will be a part of visits so that medical staff may more fully address patients’ problems and concerns.

If role expectations are uncertain in a novel situation, and if this uncertainty leads to lowered self-disclosure (Aronson & Overall, 1966; Lorion, 1974), then the role expectations of those entering integrated care must be determined. If it is found that parents do not expect to discuss psychosocial concerns with their pediatricians, this information could be used to tailor role induction interventions to reduce this uncertainty.

The primary aim of this study is to determine parents’ role expectations within the context of pediatric primary care. Additionally, it will be determined if role expectations are significant predictors of the expectation of discussing psychosocial concerns within the context of pediatric primary care. If this is the case, role theory may be important for establishing a theoretical framework to the literature on parental disclosure of psychosocial concerns within the context of pediatric primary care.

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