A follow-up study was conducted to determine the longitudinal effects of an innovative program for fathers of handicapped children. Both fathers who participated in the program and their wives completed six measures of stress, depression, social support, family environment, grief, and information needs. Pre-post data were analyzed, and time effects were found on both father and mother variables. Both fathers and mothers reported significantly decreased depression that was unrelated to child age. Fathers reported a decrease in stress and grief over time, and an increase in pessimism about the future. Fathers' information needs decreased over time, which was also unrelated to child age. Mothers reported increased satisfaction with social supports, increased cohesion, and decreased stress and rigidity in family control over time. The findings support the importance of the family as the unit of analysis in research on the outcomes of interventions for parents of handicapped children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health