The article in question dwells upon attitudes of African-American caregivers whose children and grandchildren were diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders towards school counselors. It is necessary to note that this matter has not received sufficient attention from researchers.
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The aim of the research is to reveal attitudes of African-American caregivers with low income whose children/grandchildren have to get mental health counseling. The hypothesis was not explicitly stated but it is clear that the researcher hypnotized that these people have negative experience due to the lack of understanding form the side of school staff that is primarily focused on white middle-class values (even in school where minorities are prevailing).
Six caregivers took part in the study. Tucker (2008) notes that three interviews during several months were held with the participants. It is also added that not all caregivers could attend the final interview. The participants were selected by school counselors of local schools.
Moustakas’ transcendental phenomenological method was utilized. Tucker (2008) analyzed transcripts of the interviews identifying themes. The findings of the study are as follows. The participants were frustrated as they felt they were let alone with their problems.
They also felt that school staff tended to have the so-called ‘my way or highway’. Caregivers also felt that the blame of the behavior was put on them. Only one participant reported that a school counsellor was helpful and gave her all the necessary information concerning mental health services available.
Tucker (2008) argues that this is mainly the result of the white middle-class perspective shared by the vast majority of school staff. The author also notes that counsellor have to be more attentive and find the most appropriate approaches to reach caregivers. The author also notes that the number of participants is one of major limitations of the study.
It is possible to note that the article in question is rather relevant as it can be regarded as a starting point of further research of the matter. The author used relevant research method, as it is necessary to use a qualitative technique to identify people’s attitudes. Nonetheless, the number of participants as well as their geographic location makes the study quite irrelevant.
Though the researcher notes that the number of participants may be between five and eight, it is inappropriate to make conclusion based on only three interviews held with six people living in a local neighborhood. The results may also be inaccurate as the interviewer was white and African-American participants could be reluctant to reveal their true emotions and concerns, as they could not trust a white person.
Therefore, there is a chance that the conclusions may be quite inaccurate. However, it is possible to agree with the author’s conclusions even though they need further justification. In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the article contributes greatly to the field of children development. Of course, further research is needed as there are numerous gaps.
It is essential to reach low-income African-American caregivers in different states and different schools. One of the major advantages of the study is that the author provides certain recommendations on the way trust among low-income African-American caregivers and schools staff (especially school counsellors). The article can be very helpful for school counselors and principals as it provides an important perspective on possible improvements of the situation.
Tucker, C. (2008). Low-income African-American caregivers’ experiences of being referred to mental health services by the school counselor: Implications for best practices. Professional School Counseling, 12(3), 240-252.