Date of Award:

1995

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Glendon Casto

Abstract

In response to the increased emphasis in early intervention on assessing family functioning, there has been substantial effort over the past 15 years to develop instruments that can measure important aspects of family functioning with families of children with disabilities. While the multitude of recently developed family measures has given researchers and clinicians a variety of instruments from which to choose, research on the quality of the data derived from these instruments has lagged behind. Considering the importance of family functioning in current early intervention programs and the potential impact on the type of intervention delivered, further investigation of the psychometric properties of widely used measures of family functioning seems essential.

The specific purpose of this research was to conduct a full psychometric assessment of five of the most widely used measures of family functioning for families with children with disabilities. The conclusions that can be drawn from this research are as follows: Each of these measures was strengthened by new scoring strategies, showed high reliability, demonstrated strong construct and current validity, and, individually, did not relate strongly to child development. However, when taken as a whole, these measures were very useful for family assessment in early intervention research and early intervention service provision.

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