Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Noreen M. Graf

Second Advisor

Dr. R. Paul Sale

Third Advisor

Dr. Shawn P. Saladin


The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of individuals with disabilities regarding the impact of disability on family as encountered in the literature. Despite an abundance of research and literature documenting the experience of disability in the family the individual with the disability has largely been excluded from this research. This study investigated perceptions of individuals with disabilities regarding the impacts their disabilities have on their family that have been documented in the literature. Specific demographic variables were examined to determine any differences in perceptions based on these variables. Lastly, the underlying concepts of the perceptions of individuals with disabilities on their family experiences were explored and compared to literary and theoretical conjectures on the topic. The dependent variables observed in this study were the claims made in the literature regarding the physical, psychological, social, financial, and spiritual impacts of disability on family compiled into the Individual Perception of Family and Disability-Revised (IPFD-R) survey. The IPFD-R consisted of two likert-type scales of agreement and frequency. The independent variables consisted of select demographic variables. The study participants included 410 state VR clients predominantly from Oklahoma, District of Columbia, and Florida. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods including Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient were employed to analyze data and respond to the stated research questions. The overall results reveal that individuals with disabilities disagree or perceive that their disability never or rarely affects their family as documented in the literature. Analyses of participant perceptions point to significant social and financial/economic concerns for individuals with disabilities and their family. Based on the findings, implications will be offered for educators, practitioners, employers, and policy makers. Limitations of the study, future research and suggestions are also discussed.


Copyright 2015 Benjamin C. Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American