Supporting fathers of handicapped young children: Preliminary findings of program effects

Patricia F. Vadasy, Donald J. Meyer, Rebecca R. Fewell, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The rationale for and history of an innovative program designed to meet the special needs of fathers of young handicapped children are described. The Supporting Extended Family Members (SEFAM) Father's Program provided fathers with both a regular source of information about their child and access to professional and peer support. The program was evaluated by monitoring changes both of fathers who participated in the program and their wives in the following domains: stress, depression, and support systems. Research measures are described which were designed to assess changes in these targeted domains. Preliminary results indicated that parents who participated in the pilot program reported lower levels of stress and depression and higher levels of satisfaction with social support than parents who were newly enrolled in the program. The findings are discussed in light of possible mediating factors for the observed results. Recommendations are made for improving the quality of data on the effects of early interventions on family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalAnalysis and Intervention In Developmental Disablities
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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