Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
An increasing number of infants are diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) as a result of prenatal opioid exposure. Early intervention services are recommended for this population of children and families to mitigate developmental delays associated with NAS. The effectiveness of early intervention is dependent on the ability of interventionists who deliver these services. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore early interventionists' perspectives of self-efficacy when working with infants diagnosed with NAS and their families. Bandura's self-efficacy theory and Rotter's concept of locus of control provided the conceptual framework for this study. The study's guiding research questions focused on early interventionists' self-efficacy beliefs and factors that may affect those beliefs in their work with infants diagnosed with NAS and their families. Data were collected via semistructured interviews with 8 interventionists. Themes emerged from both in vivo and a priori coding pertaining to interventionists' self-efficacy beliefs working with the NAS population. Most interventionists in this study reported feeling highly efficacious in their work with infants with NAS and their families despite a lack of applicable educational and professional preparation. Interventionists attributed their professional efficacy to their own self-study, experience, and motivation to learn. Interventionists agreed that training specific to their work with NAS may improve their ability and self-efficacy in their work with infants with NAS and their families. Targeted training to increase interventionists' self-efficacy in their work with infants diagnosed with NAS and their families may result in increased effectiveness of intervention services and lead to lifelong positive outcomes for these vulnerable children.