Assessing patterns of family functioning and family strengths in the families of preschoolers with developmental delays, behaviour problems, and both / by Jessica Franks.
Children with disabilities - Family relationships
Preschool children - Family relationships
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Theories of family functioning, which identify important processes or components of family structure and interactions, have a common flaw of bipolarity, with 'functioning well' at one end of the spectrum and 'dysfunctional' at the other end. This results in the loss of important information about the positive characteristics of families, family strengths. Prior research has indicated that families of preschool aged children with behaviour problems or developmental delays demonstrate distinct patterns of family functioning characteristics. Though little research has explored family strengths, there is some indication that patterns of family strengths differ between families facing different challenges. The present study attempted to clarify and explore the distinct characteristics of family functioning and family strengths that occur in the families of preschool aged children with behaviour problems, developmental delays, and both. Participants were 34 primary caregivers of 3 to 6 year old children recruited through the public school system and two clinical agencies. Participants completed the Family Assessment Measure (FAM-111), the Family Functioning Style Scale (FFSS), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), to assess family functioning, family strengths, and behavioural problems respectively. Results of this study suggest that both severity of behavioural problems and presence of developmental delay are sigmficantly related to the overall level and specific characteristics of family functioning and family strengths in the preschool population.
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