Manufacturing marginalization: Parenting services from the perspective of parents with mental illness




Abramovitch, Ginna

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This exploratory study begins to fill in a large gap in the understanding of how parents with MI access parenting services and how they perceive this process. Constructivist grounded theory by K. Charmaz (2006) was the guiding methodology. The findings point to the strong influence of the service context on the process and outcome of parental engagement with services. Parents identified a fragmented, restrictive and reactive context of parenting services that failed to support them and their families. They described a stigmatizing and disempowering service response. The parents’ process of service engagement paralleled a process of marginalization they experienced in society. Government and community services were distinguished by degrees of restriction and approaches to practice. Community services were most commonly viewed as supporting parents and working as allies. The findings underscore the importance of engaging parents with MI as partners in research and development of service policy and practice.



parents with mental illness, service use, parenting services, qualitative, grounded theory