Noora Ronkainen, Satu Uusiautti, Tanja Äärelä


Research on self-efficacy in parents who have children with special needs appears fragmented and relatively scarce. The purpose of the research was to analyze (1) how the self-efficacy of parents who have children with special needs has been researched in 2000-2020 and (2) what implications the research provides to support parents’ self-efficacy. This was a state-of-the-art review in which a total of 23 articles were selected (n=10 from EBSCO and n=13 from ScienceDirect). The data were analyzed with the method of qualitative content analysis. For the research question 1, three upper categories were formed: Self-efficacy from the perspective of the parent’s well-being; Self-efficacy in relation to the child; and Self-efficacy in relation to the support offered to parents. For the research question 2, all articles (n=21) that included any implications were used for answering this question. Implications were categorized into Social support and services; Support for parents’ well-being; and Knowledge and skills offered to parents. Based on the analysis more research is needed about the connection between perceived well-being and self-efficacy from the parents’ own perspective. Cognitive-behavioral therapeutic interventions would be beneficial for parents who find their child’s behavior challenging. They also need continuous access to behavioral therapeutic methods.


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