Persistence in the Face of Ecological Challenges: A Phenomenological Study of Parents of Children With Disabilities in Turkey

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Ülker Tümlü G., Akdoğan R.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COUNSELLING, vol.44, no.1, pp.17-38, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10447-021-09453-x
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.17-38
  • Keywords: Children with disabilities, Parents of children with disabilities, Ecological systems theory, Phenomenological research, AUTISM, SUPPORT, MOTHERS, DEPRESSION, FAMILY, LIFE, EXPERIENCE, DIAGNOSIS, THERAPY, ANXIETY
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


In this qualitative study, we aimed to reveal the psychological experiences of parents of children with disabilities in Turkey. A focus group interview was conducted with nine parents (one father and eight mothers) of children with Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental disabilities who were selected using criterion sampling. The psychological experiences of the parents included themes of anxiety, avoidance, guilt, burnout, and the child-centered life and self-neglect. Parents' experiences are affected by familial, social, cultural, and economic factors. The results indicated that parents' experiences need to be approached from ecological systems theory. We suggest the use of an ecological perspective in the investigation and determination of parents' experiences and in the provision of clinical approaches to helping parents overcome challenges.