Parental Perceptions of Treatment Options for Children Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Parental Perceptions of Treatment Options for Children Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Author: 
Dara Gordon Murray
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
Despite wide acceptance of the legitimacy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a diagnosis, research remains lacking on treatment options for children. The purpose of this qualitative, case study was to explore and describe the experiences and perceptions of parents whose children have been diagnosed with and treated for PTSD, shedding light on parental perceptions with regard to treatment options for children with PTSD and the efficacy of these treatments for children. The problem was that the lack of research on children diagnosed with PTSD leaves caregivers and practitioners working with children little information to guide the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of these children. The multiple case study design was used to extract information from focus groups and individual interviews with a convenience sample of 17 parents and guardians of children diagnosed with PTSD. Case study thematic analysis was used with the support of Nvivo11 qualitative analysis software to track coding and location of codes toward identifying themes in the data. The thematic findings serve to expand the current knowledge base on treatment options for children diagnosed with PTSD through gaining an in-depth understanding of specific cases of parents with children suffering from PTSD through describing, exploring, and explaining their experiences and perceptions.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge and thank my dissertation chairs and committee members for their support throughout the dissertation process, especially Dr. Nancy Greer-Williams, PhD, Dr. Mary Nelson, PhD, RN, Dr. Susan Morgan, PhD, RN, Dr. Shayne Chase, PhD, and Maryanne Mancuso, MS, RN, CS-P, for helping me stay focused during the research and writing process; Jennifer Gildea for her countless hours of editing to ensure that I applied the American Psychological Association (APA) style and grammar correctly. I would like to thank my wonderful husband Gary who when I complained about how hard the work was, he would say to me “Dara, if getting a doctorate were that easy, everyone would do it”. To my daughters Alexandra and Sonia especially for their support when I had to put personal things aside in order that I made my deadlines for school work and projects. Most of all, I would like to thank my parents, Leonard and Roslyn Gordon, especially my father, who inspired me to finish my dissertation and when I was about to give up, he gave me encouragement to keep on going so that I could be the first woman in our family to receive a Doctoral degree. In addition, my close friends and colleagues from the university who gave me such great positive feedback. Also, special gratitude to all the individuals who responded to my research, and to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) who helped me with my research study. To my big brother Craig Gordon, thanks for your cheering up talks and being there for me in many ways. To my maternal grandfather, Ben Dubyn, who always believed that education was a major key to success in life and a major reason I stayed in school and received several degrees, especially this one. In loving memory of my paternal grandmother, Martha Gordon and brother Arnold Gordon who I believe have been my guardian angels through this everlasting journey. A special thank you to Dr. Jules Cahan, MD, an outstanding surgeon in Maryland, who in 1974 saved my life due to an abscessed appendix and inspired me to become a doctor. Lastly, a couple of quotes from my maternal and paternal sides of my family. My paternal grandfather, Tom Gordon, who always would say "Today is a gift and tomorrow's a bonus" and my maternal grandmother, Yetta Dubyn, who would say "If you have your health, you are rich”. To University of Phoenix, especially my advisors, because without you, this would not have been possible.