Ambiguous belonging and the challenge of inclusion: parent perspectives on school membership

  • Scorgie K
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Abstract

Boundary ambiguity occurs when members of a family are confused or uncertain regarding roles, responsibilities and subsystem configurations within the family. Research suggests that perception of boundary ambiguity is associated with family stress despite internal and external resource availability. It has been suggested that research on family boundary ambiguity be broadened beyond the family unit to the interface between family and community. This study utilised boundary ambiguity, and paradoxical dilemma as sensitising concepts to guide a secondary analysis of narrative data from interviews conducted with 28 parents of children with a range of disabilities pertaining to the interface between home and school. Findings confirmed evidence of boundary ambiguity and boundary intrusion in parents’ perception of whether the child and family were considered valued members of the school community, and in ambiguous parental role assignments, such as information gatherer, child advocate and teacher. In addition, ambiguous situations often triggered paradoxical dilemmas that affected home–school relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • ambiguous belonging
  • boundary ambiguity
  • families of children with disability
  • home–school collaboration
  • inclusion

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Authors

  • Kate Scorgie

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