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Infants & Young Children:
doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181b8b1db
Article

Validating Family‐Centeredness in Early Intervention Evaluation Reports

Farrell, Anne F. PhD

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Abstract

This Internet-based study involved experimental manipulation of family-centeredness in written early intervention evaluation reports and employed a 3 × 4-vignette factorial design with 1 participant variable (role: parent, professional, parent-professional) and 1 randomly assigned independent variable (level of family-centeredness in report passages). Dependent variables included ratings of the report's acceptability, accessibility, and overall family-centeredness and participants' estimates of the functioning of the child depicted. Results included main effects for pattern and role, with no interactions. Report passages higher in family-centered content were associated with higher ratings than passages low in family-centeredness content. Parents rated reports as more accessible and acceptable than did professionals and parent-professionals. Role and family-centeredness of passage also influenced participant estimations of child functioning. Parents generally viewed the child depicted as higher functioning than did professionals, especially when one of their children had significant impairment. Low in family-centeredness passages were associated with presumptions of greater functional impairment. This report makes an empirical connection between written portrayals of children and the impressions they create in readers' minds. Such impressions may play a role in affecting family optimism and in determining how team members approach planning and intervention. Implications for practice, training, and future research are discussed.

©2009Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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