Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kevin E. Geoffroy


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of parental intervention on the self-esteem, degree of coping, and stress levels of parents of developmentally delayed or handicapped infants involved in an infant intervention program.;The research design for this study was a posttest-only control group design. The samples consisted of 48 parents who had infants enrolled in an infant intervention program. Sixteen subjects were assigned to each of the following treatment groups: Support, Counseling, and Control. The Support groups were structured as self-help groups. The Counseling groups were primarily affective, but also included a didactic component based on the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) model. Three self-report instruments: The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, The Parenting Stress Index, and the Coping with Loss Scale were used to assess changes in the dependent variables (self-esteem, stress, and coping.).;The results of the research revealed that there were significant differences noted between the self-esteem scores of the support group parents and the counseling group parents, with self-esteem scores higher in the support group. Similarly, a significant difference was found between the stress indexes of support group parents and counseling group parents with the support group parents experiencing less stress. No significant difference was noted between any of the groups in respect to the degree of coping, nor were any significant differences noted between treatment groups and the control group on any of the variables. The subscales on the Coping with Loss Scale proved to significantly discriminate between each other.;In conclusion, support groups may be more effective than counseling groups for this population due to the lack of cohesiveness in groups as a result of absenteeism. Measures to eliminate absenteeism were offered. Replication of this study with a larger sample was recommended along with some possible design changes. Further research on the Coping with Loss Scale was suggested.



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