Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Vicki Stayton, Tabitha Daniel, Louella Fong
School of Teacher Education
Specialist in Education
It has been suggested that the presence of a child with special needs increases the stress levels and needs of families. Some researchers suggest, however, that it is not the presence of the disability but the unmet needs of the family that cause the stress (Byrne & Cunningham, 1985). Whatever the cause, the stress should be considered within the context of the family (Bailey & Worley, 1984) and early intervention programs should identify and develop plans that reflect the family’s strengths and needs. This requires that the professional staff assess those strengths and needs and understand all factors, internal and external, that contribute to that family’s functioning.
It is this transactional nature that prompted this study. Using the Family Needs Survey by Bailey and Simeonsson (1990b) parents in fourteen Kentucky Early Intervention programs for children birth through age two were asked to participate. Using a Chi-square statistical test, the results were analyzed to answer the following questions: a) Is there a relationship between income level and the perceived strengths and needs of mothers and fathers of children with special needs, birth through age two? b) Is there a relationship between education level and the perceived strengths and needs of fathers and mothers of children with special needs, birth through age two? and c) Is there a relationship between gender of parents and the perceived strengths and needs of fathers and mothers of children birth through two years of age with special needs?
Using three demographic factors (i.e., gender of parent, education level3, and income level), a Chi-square test was conducted for each of the thirty-five items on the Family Needs Survey by Bailey and Simeonsson (1990b). Fifteen test scores were significant at the p < .05 level. Of these fifteen, four significant levels indicated that gender of parent was a factor. Four significant levels were found when income was the demographic factor. Education appears to be the most influential demographic factor in identifying strengths and needs for families of children with special needs.
Early Childhood Education | Education | Elementary Education | Special Education and Teaching
Fugate, Janet, "The Effects of Gender, Income Level & Educational Level on Parent’s Perception of Their Strengths & Needs" (1993). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 3272.