ERIC Number: ED294335
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Parent Stress, Family Functioning and Social Support in Families of Young Handicapped Children.
This study compared parent stress, family functioning, and social support in 55 families with a developmentally handicapped child (ages 0-7) and 55 families with a nonhandicapped child. Findings indicated that a young handicapped child did induce greater stress in his parents than did a nonhandicapped child. Parents of handicapped children appeared to have greater problems associated with the care of the handicapped child, felt more pessimistic about the child's future, and felt more negative about his/her present behavioral and physical characteristics. The general functioning of families and availability of social support was altered but not necessarily impaired by the presence of a handicapped child. Families with handicapped children placed a greater emphasis on achievement and moral-religious beliefs and were more likely to employ rules and control as a method of operating family life. The two groups perceived equal degrees of social support, although the handicapped group received less from their own extended families. Results suggested that intervention efforts to relieve parental stress should focus on cultivating positive family relationships, developing skills for efficient operation of daily family activities and care of the handicapped child, and improving the social support system both inside and outside the family. (VW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Early Childhood Conference on Children with Special Needs (Denver, CO, November 1-3, 1987).