The family of disabled persons often goes through periods of instability and mismatch; the birth of disabled children may affect communication, problem solving, satisfaction and general family functioning. The present study aims to explore the perception that both parents of disabled children have of their family functioning, measuring: the dynamics of the familiar functioning; the perception that the parental couple has about parenting and family functioning; the similarities between fathers and mothers in the perception of these dimensions. The research involved 50 parent couples (age: M=50.84; S.D=7.23), who have 100 disabled children. They completed: Family Assessment Device (Epstein, Baldwin, & Bishop, 1983) to assess specific aspects of family functioning, such as problem solving, communication, roles, affective response and involvement, behavioral control and general functioning; Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (Olson, 2011), to measure family adaptability and cohesion. The parents of disabled daughters showed significantly higher on following scales: cohesion, communication and satisfaction. In contrast, the parents who have male sons showed high scores in the scale of flexibility. Parents of children with autism reported higher scores than the parents of children with pervasive developmental disorders in the following scales: cohesion, communication and satisfaction. The results suggest that family functioning when there is a disabled child might be affected by child’s gender and disability. Among the research limits there are the lack of a representative sample and the absence of a longitudinal study. In future studies, it is expected an evaluation of triadic family functioning to examine intergenerational differences in perception of family dynamics.

Family functioning and disability: a study on Italian parents with disabled children

IACOLINO, CALOGERO;PELLERONE, MONICA;PACE, Ugo;RAMACI, TIZIANA;
2016

Abstract

The family of disabled persons often goes through periods of instability and mismatch; the birth of disabled children may affect communication, problem solving, satisfaction and general family functioning. The present study aims to explore the perception that both parents of disabled children have of their family functioning, measuring: the dynamics of the familiar functioning; the perception that the parental couple has about parenting and family functioning; the similarities between fathers and mothers in the perception of these dimensions. The research involved 50 parent couples (age: M=50.84; S.D=7.23), who have 100 disabled children. They completed: Family Assessment Device (Epstein, Baldwin, & Bishop, 1983) to assess specific aspects of family functioning, such as problem solving, communication, roles, affective response and involvement, behavioral control and general functioning; Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (Olson, 2011), to measure family adaptability and cohesion. The parents of disabled daughters showed significantly higher on following scales: cohesion, communication and satisfaction. In contrast, the parents who have male sons showed high scores in the scale of flexibility. Parents of children with autism reported higher scores than the parents of children with pervasive developmental disorders in the following scales: cohesion, communication and satisfaction. The results suggest that family functioning when there is a disabled child might be affected by child’s gender and disability. Among the research limits there are the lack of a representative sample and the absence of a longitudinal study. In future studies, it is expected an evaluation of triadic family functioning to examine intergenerational differences in perception of family dynamics.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/115756
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact