Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Rosemary Link

Second Advisor

Phu Phan

Third Advisor

Martha Shermer


The birth of a premature infant can be an emotionally devastating experience for most families. The separation of caregiver and child during tnis time can also inhibit behaviors that facilitate healthy parent-child attachment. Research suggests that adequate parental support during the time of hospitalization can significantly reduce the negative effects of an NICU experience, which can reduce the likelihood of later parent-child attachment issues and foster better developmental outcomes for the child. The focus of this thesis is a support group curriculum, which has been developed using both the research regarding the NICU experience, and a parent survey taken in the NICU of Children's Hospital. The curriculum is designed for both mothers and fathers of premature infants, and is to be co-facilitated by a NICU social worker and the unit chaplain. The group will provide opportunities for discussion, problem solving, and education with other families going through the same experience.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Dehkes.PL

Included in

Social Work Commons