Transformational outcomes associated with parenting children who have disabilities

Ment Retard. 2000 Jun;38(3):195-206. doi: 10.1352/0047-6765(2000)038<0195:TOAWPC>2.0.CO;2.


In this study we explored transformations--significant and positive changes--in the lives of parents of children with disabilities. In the first phase of the study, we interviewed 15 parents of children with disabilities about their experiences as parents. Results were qualitatively analyzed to develop themes. In the second phase, we surveyed 80 parents using an instrument that measured agreement with the themes from the first phase. Results indicated that most parents reported many positive changes in their lives as a result of parenting a child with a disability. These included three major areas: (a) personal growth, (b) improved relations with others, and (c) changes in philosophical or spiritual values.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disabled Children*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting*
  • Philosophy
  • Quality of Life*