Date of Award

1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Applied Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Dr David Biggins

Abstract

This study was undertaken as a partial requirement for a Bachelor of Health Science (Health Education) Honours. It examines the role of two Western Australian adoptive parent organisations, Australia for Children Society (AFC), and the Adoptive Parents Association (APA), as peer tutors within a Preparation for Adoptive Parenthood Education Programme (PAPEP). The sample consisted of one group which attended a workshop held by AFC and one group which attended a workshop by APA as part of the PAPEP. Measurements of interactions between Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) and between PAPs and workshop presenters were made through observations. PAPs' satisfaction with the workshops were measured by workshop and post-workshop questionnaires. AFC combined both professional and Adoptive Parent Presenters (APP), whilst APA had APPs only. Findings indicate a significantly higher level of interaction between PAPs and APPs than between PAPs and professional presenters. PAPs indicate a very high level of satisfaction with both the content and the environment of both workshops (AFC 97%, APA 93%). Where a combination of presenters was used PAPs indicated a greater preference for APPs. It is argued that the satisfaction of the PAPs with APPs as peer tutors is an indication of the worth and the usefulness of using adoptive parent organisations as peer tutors in PAPEP. The real life modelling of peer tutors seems to reduce anxiety, apathy, hostility and resistance to learning in PAPs. The teaching strategies of AFC and AP A provide information on adoptive parenting outside the formal systems of PAPEP through APPs drawing on their repertoire of experience in adoption while at the same time using academic theories and ideas for support. Although the study findings are confined to the boundaries of the specific workshops and generalisations should not be made, the researcher has concluded that adoptive parents as peer tutors are a vital component of any PAPEP. It is recommended that more parent groups adopt the concept of peer tutoring to complement services provided by professionals.

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