Description: Frequent absences resulting from a chronic illness can disrupt adolescent school involvement, impacting academic achievement and psychosocial development as a result. This study explores whether certified child life specialists (CCLSs) could be a resource for parents as they address their adolescents' academic disruptions. Specifically, this study assesses an online training program designed to increase CCLSs' knowledge and self-efficacy as related to adolescents' academic adjustment following frequent absences. This knowledge and skill based training was designed as a three part module with sections including: academic considerations, psychosocial considerations, and availability of school resources in promoting successful adolescent academic adjustment. 62 CCLSs were recruited to participate and complete measures evaluating knowledge, in relation to content included in each module, and self-efficacy, involving communication with parents in regards to adolescent academic adjustment. T-tests were conducted to determine whether there were differences in reports of self-efficacy and knowledge following participation in the intervention between and within the treatment and control groups. Results indicate statistical significance for enhanced knowledge and self-efficacy for the treatment group at post-test. Therefore, the outcomes from this study support the effectiveness of brief online training in fostering knowledge and feelings of efficacy for CCLSs in a context not typically included in child life education or certification. As a result, findings from this study may be used to expand intervention programs in the clinical setting to provide more comprehensive psychosocial care to adolescents diagnosed with a chronic illness.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Koussa, Michelle D