Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Degree Program

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Simmons, Thomas

Committee Member

Bauder, Debra

Committee Member

Sar, Bibhuti

Committee Member

Portes, Pedro

Committee Member

Edge, Denzil

Author's Keywords

social sciences; education; cultural identification; disabilities; European-American; Families; Immigrant; Latino; parenting; stress


Special Education; Cultural anthropology; Hispanic American studies


The purpose of this correlational exploratory study was to delve into the experience of raising a child with disabilities by investigating the parents' level of stress and the role played by culture, acculturation, and various demographic variables suggested by the literature to influence stress were included. A purposive sample composed of 38 primarily undocumented immigrant Latino parents and 32 European American parents of children with disabilities was recruited from community agencies in a Midwest state. The most frequent disabilities were orthopedic impairments, pervasive developmental disorders, and mental retardation.

Data were collected with the Parent Survey, comprised of the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress-QRS, the Orthogonal Cultural Identification Scale-OCIS and a section on demographic information. A Spanish version of the Parent Survey was produced in order to collect data from monolingual Latinos. Preliminary validation of the QRS was conducted.