Perspectives of fathers and mothers of children in early intervention programmes in assessing family quality of life

M. Wang, J. A. Summers, T. Little, A. Turnbull, D. Poston, H. Mannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Family quality of life (FQOL), as a family outcome measure of early intervention and other services, has increasingly drawn attention of researchers, policymakers and service providers. Developing an index of family QOL requires a measure suitable for use with multiple family members. The purpose of this study was to test whether mothers and fathers similarly view the conceptual model of FQOL embodied in one measure. Method: This study involved fathers and mothers of 107 families who have a young child (birth to five) with a disability enrolled in an early intervention programme. Data from couples completing the Beach Center FQOL measure were analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM) to determine similarities or differences between fathers and mothers with respect to their assessment of FQOL. Results: The analysis of measurement invariance of the FQOL construct across the father and mother groups indicates that the Beach Center FQOL Scale measures equally the underlying FQOL construct across fathers and mothers in this sample. Fathers do not differ from mothers in perceived importance of factors related to FQOL items, nor did they differ in their overall satisfaction with FQOL. Conclusion: These results suggest that fathers and mothers respond similarly to the latent constructs within the Beach Center FQOL Scale; therefore, it holds promise for use with both fathers and mothers in assessing FQOL across multiple family members. Further implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-988
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Early intervention
  • Families
  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Quality of life


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