Parental Adjustment and Changes in Child Outcome Among Families of Young Handicapped Children

Karin S. Frey, Rebecca R. Fewell, Patricia F. Vadasy, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between parent and child characteristics and competencies, supports available to the family, and how these factors influence parent and child outcomes. The sample of 48 mother-father pairs of young children with handicaps was assessed on a group of questionnaires, an interview at pretest, and 2 years later. Parental adjustment was found to be related to the child's communication competence and to the sex of the child. Satisfaction with support was related to parents’ adjustment to the child. Fathers’ views of their child's characteristics at pretest predicted mothers’ views at posttest. An increase in children's social skills over the 2-year period was also associated with fathers’ positive views of their child at pretest. The findings support the value of examining family characteristics that mediate the impact of a child's handicap, and the importance of attending to how family members influence each other over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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