Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impact of Internet message boards for Latino parents of autistic children: A qualitative study
by Martinez, Diana M., M.S.W., California State University, Long Beach, 2009, 41; 1466287
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to examine internet message boards to determine how Latino parents of autistic children have overcome the challenges and socioeconomic barriers when seeking diagnosis, treatment, and support. Autism is a type of pervasive developmental disorder.

The research examined the positive and negative effects on Latino parents' professional and personal lives through the collection of various searches on the World Wide Web for online support groups for Latino parents with autistic children. A qualitative research method is employed. The study examines: (1) how does having an autistic child impact their daily lives, and the type of environment they and their children face at home and at school; and (2) what are the types of support and resources available to them?

A total of 500 postings were examined in order to approximate the university guidelines of a 15 participant minimum for qualitative studies. Out of the 500 postings reviewed, 65 met the criteria for the research. The research concluded that Latino parents of autistic children use internet message boards as a support network, although the quantity of individuals using it is still a low percentage.

The findings stated that Latino parents of autistic children who use internet message boards discussed stressors mainly at school, at home with peers, friends, relatives, and other children in the household. Latino parents discussed medical articles and provided each other with up to date information on autism, and expressed the positive feedback on internet message board usage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Koob, Jeffrey J.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Mass communications, Hispanic American studies
Publication Number: 1466287
ISBN: 978-1-109-17574-5
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