Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Katarzyna Peoples


Parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities are confronted with challenging decisions regarding whether to place their adult child in a group-home. The research question for this study was to ascertain the lived experiences of parents confronted with this life altering decision. Limited research exists on parents who face this difficult life choice. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities when contemplating residential placements. Ten participants from the north Atlantic coastline in the U.S. were recruited and shared their lived experiences during semi structured interviews. Utilizing qualitative methodology to undergird Heidegger's phenomenology framework, data was collected and analyzed using the hermeneutic circle. The thematic outcomes included best option, physical aggression, death/absence of a spouse, caregiver medical conditions, mental health-behavioral disorder, community integration, hospital/emergency, verbal aggression, and financial burden. The results can inform counselors regarding the struggles the parents of adult children with intellectual disabilities confront and how they influence decisions regarding alternative living arrangements. The findings inform parents enduring emotional and physical stressors, caregiver burden, and relationship strain. Positive social change can be realized through disseminating the results of this study to parents, counselor educators and supervisors. Coursework could introduce students and practitioners to the parental decision-making process to help understand family dynamics and alternative living arrangements for individuals with intellectual disabilities.