Date of Conferral







Cheryl T. Balkcom


AbstractDisciplinary exclusion, particularly school expulsion, presents a significant challenge to school-age children and their families. Although the impacts of disciplinary exclusion from school on children are well-known, less is known about how this phenomenon affects their parents. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences of parents who have a child who has been subjected to disciplinary exclusion due to behavioral problems in the classroom. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory provided the framework for this study. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 12 parents of children who faced exclusion. Four themes emerged from coding analysis: (a) impact of exclusion on parents, (b) child experience with exclusion, (c) coping strategies after exclusion, and (d) changes in parent–child relationship. The first theme detailed the effects of disciplinary exclusion on aspects of parents’ lives, including relationships, career, and personal well-being. The second theme included information on the events leading up to the child’s exclusion. The third theme revealed the methods parents used to handle their feelings and reactions to their child’s disciplinary exclusion. The fourth theme addressed how the parents attempted to make changes in their parenting methods and how their households were adapted to meet their child’s needs. The findings may contribute to positive social change by helping parents and schools reduce disciplinary exclusion through the implementation of more effective strategies for improving children’s behavior.