Factors influencing caregivers’ choice of support sources and support-acceptance decisions : a systematic review. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Social support has been found to be an alternative to formal treatments and can be effective in buffering against the stress experienced by parents and teachers, due to the demands of their roles. Support provided from various sources in the form of encouragements, tangible help or information sharing can equip exhausted parents and teachers with more resources to meet the challenging demands of childrearing or teaching. The perception that support sources are present and social contacts are willing to provide them with additional support is alone sufficient to trigger an elevated sense of self-efficacy and encourage parents and teachers to adopt more effective problem-focused coping strategies. Yet, despite these known benefits, parents and teachers have continued to report their non- or minimal-access to support sources. Since support can only be received when parents and teachers are willing to accept the support offered, it is crucial to investigate and gather their reasons behind their non-access or lack of willingness to seek or accept support offers.
This study investigates the various groups of social supporters to whom parents and teachers (i.e. caregivers) would turn for support when they are faced with challenges, and the factors that influence their decisions to seek, accept or reject social support rendered by individuals from a support source. In particular, it aims to answer (1) who do caregivers turn to and seek support from, when faced with role-related challenges while caring for young children? and (2) why do caregivers choose to seek or refuse support from a support source?
The method of this review involved a systematic search for qualitative studies that recorded caregivers’ reports of support experiences and their rationales for seeking, receiving or rejecting support rendered by their various networks of social contacts. The systematic search was conducted in three electronic databases, namely ERIC, Scopus and EBSCOhost, and via the Google Scholar search engine. Eligibility criteria were imposed to ensure only studies that met the inclusion criteria were accepted for further quality assessment. The COREQ (Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research) checklist was used to appraise the overall quality of the included studies. This overall quality is determined through the explicitness of descriptions and comprehensiveness of report. All included studies underwent two rounds of independent quality assessments. Inductive thematic analysis was employed to synthesise the extracted data and all extracted data were independently analysed and coded by the primary author and her supervisor.
A total of 1228 studies was identified and 22 of the studies met all the inclusion criteria set for this review. Of the 22 studies, only two studies recorded teachers’ experiences of receiving support and one recorded teachers’ experiences of supporting parents. These three studies were excluded on the grounds that they provided insufficient data for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the teachers’ support experiences. The remaining 19 studies were assessed on their overall quality using the COREQ checklist. The quality of these 19 studies was judged as moderate to high, indicating the descriptions and report of each study were explicit and comprehensive. All 19 studies recorded only the support sources accessed by and the support experiences of parents. Four main themes and 19 subthemes were identified through the extracted and synthesised data: (1) accessibility – subthemes: distance, time, availability, and information, (2) relationship – subthemes: strength of relationship, social inclusion versus social exclusion, opportunity to build relationship, and interest in building relationship, (3) supporter’s factors – subthemes: similarity of life experiences, relevancy and practicality of supporter’s knowledge or experience, supporter’s obtrusiveness, sensitivity to parent’s needs, quality of parenting support, and affirmation of parent’s goals or interest, and (4) parent’s personal factors – subthemes: guilt, fear, reciprocal support, and social comparison. Each of these subthemes explained the factors that had influenced parents in their support-seeking, -acceptance or -rejection decisions. Results showed that parents had sought, accepted or rejected support rendered by social contacts belonging to the four support sources, namely the informal support source (e.g. family members, spouse or partner, friends and colleagues), semi-formal support source (e.g. other parents, support volunteers, staff members of their child’s preschool, and members of the public), formal support source (e.g. professionals like doctors, healthcare workers, midwives, doctors, psychologists, counsellors, and others), or mixed support source (e.g. existing informal social contacts, newly acquainted semi- formal contacts or unfamiliar professionals who provide support via digital platforms or print media). The 19 subthemes represented the factors that had influenced or gave reason for their decisions and their rationales behind seeking, accepting or rejecting support from the various support sources.
Two main conclusions were drawn from the findings of this systematic review. Firstly, parents may seek or accept assistance or advice from various sources, while holding a preference for support rendered by social contacts of some sources, like their informal support sources of close kin and friends, more than others. Secondly, the factors that most crucially affect parents’ support- seeking, support-acceptance or support-rejection decisions and behaviour vary from person to person. These factors may be dependent on the social support theoretical perspective, together with its relating models, that is implicitly endorsed by each parent. This endorsed theoretical perspective influences parents’ purpose for seeking support and the expectations they hold towards those who offer support. Parents with positive support experiences of effective social supporters fulfilling the expected purposes may thus continue to gain social resources to cope with their challenges. Conversely, those with negative support experiences may resist seeking help from ineffective social supporters, continue to depend on their limited repertoire of skills and knowledge to cope, and have higher risk of experiencing sustained high levels of stress and burnout that also encourage them towards the trajectory of developing psychological disorders.
RightsAll Rights Reserved
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
An updated systematic review of factors influencing hearing aid uptake in adults from 2011 to 2022. Jiang, Zhihan (2023)Aim: Hearing loss affects a significant proportion of the global population, yet the uptake of hearing aids remains low despite their demonstrated benefits. Prior systematic reviews have identified strong predictors of ...
Decisions, decisions: factors that influence student selection of final year clinical placements Whittle, Rosemary Anne (University of Canterbury. Education, 2007)Clinical practice is an essential and integral component of nursing education. The decision-making process involved in student selection of clinical placements is influenced by a range of factors which are internal or ...
Understanding mediator intervention behaviour in international conflicts : a theoretical and empirical analysis of the influence of contextual factors on mediators' choice and enactment of mediation strategies Houston, Allison Lorne (1997)This thesis seeks to provide a framework in which mediator intervention behaviour in international conflicts can be evaluated and understood. Since mediation is a political and social process, a review of decision making, ...