Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development


Shelley Knudsen Lindauer


The purpose of this research was to examine the differences between mothers in single- and two-parent families as they interact with their child with a disability. The sample consisted of 240 children with developmental disabilities and their mothers. Maternal interaction behaviors were measured using the Maternal Behavior Rating Scale. Demographic information, child characteristic measures, and family functioning variables were also considered. Analyses of covariance indicated that there were no differences between interaction behaviors of mothers in single- and two-parent families. However, relationships between income, education, and family cohesion, and the types of interactions displayed between mother and child were found. The results of this study have implications for intervention specialists who work with children with disabilities. The importance of examining the family context in order to determine how to best tailor a treatment program to fit the need of the family is discussed.