Integrating Research into Child Life Academic Programs: Identifying Graduate Program Promising Practices
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The relatively young field of child life is in need of research on the efficacy of child life services to both validate the field and provide academic growth. Coordinators of nine child life graduate programs in the U.S. participated in a semi-structured interview focusing on the integration of research in their programs. Inductive analysis of the interviews identified five major themes: the importance of research, barriers, strategies, resources, and measures of success. Overall, child life graduate programs show informal support for research in the child life field. A more formal infrastructure requiring participation and knowledge of research for child life graduate students will allow for the child life field to grow academically and produce the research needed to validate the field.