Project Details


This study investigates the impacts of a retarded child on the family based
on time diary data, other measures of family function, and characteristics
of family members, family units, and their environment. A sample of
families of retarded children will be obtained in cooperation with the
Nation Down Syndrome Congress. A stratified random sample of 300 families
will be selected and four waves of surveys will be administered. All four
waves will collect surveys for mother (or other primary caregiver) and the
retarded child. Two waves will be administered to fathers (or other adult)
and a sibling. Time diary data will be obtained for two week days,
Saturday and Sunday. These data will be collected by the same instruments
and methods applied in 1982 to a national probability sample of American
households. This will allow us to compare families of retarded children to
other families on very detailed measures of family function, the most
important of which is time allocation (level of time in 223 activities,
place, others involved, and secondary activity for each family member).
Major categories of activities include work, child care, house work, and
active and passive leisure. Information will also be collected from each
child's teacher. The information produced will be used to assess the
effects on internal and external family function, interaction effects of
other variables and the resources required (time, money, energy) to care
for retarded children (and adults) at home. This information has
significance for numerous research and policy issues including: the most
appropriate measures of family function and stress; resources expended by
family assistance needed to support deinstitutionalization; resources
expended by families to care for retarded children compared to other
children; demands and constraints placed on individual family members;
effects on employment, earnings, education, social life, family life,
aspirations, and perceived satisfaction with family and quality of life
generally for each family member. The survey includes detailed demographic
and social measures, as well as measures of the child's level of adaptive
behavior, that can be used in multivariate analyses. Methods of analysis
include simple and bivariate statistics, and single equation and structural
equation models for multivariate analysis of the new data set and
comparison to the 1982 national sample of families. In sum, the study will
establish a new baseline of information on families of retarded children.
Effective start/end date7/1/908/31/92


  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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