Date of Conferral







Anthony Perry


Parenting can be very challenging, especially when raising a disabled child. Children with disabilities require more supports and are more likely to be abused. The parent-child relationship is an important factor in ensuring child welfare. Little research has focused on identifying the impact of parenting characteristics on raising a child with a disability. The purpose of this study was to examine whether parenting style, parenting competence, and parenting stress were predictors of parent-child relationship quality in parents of children with disabilities ages 3 to 12 years. This study was quantitative and used multiple linear regression to identify predictor variables of the quality of the parent-child relationship. A convenience sample of 244 parents identified through a Qualtrics participant pool completed online surveys. Minuchin's structural family theory was used to guide this research and identify how challenges, such as raising a child with a disability, can cause distress when families are unable to adapt and parents are unable to maintain authority. Parenting factors were assessed using the Parenting Stress Index-4 Competence subscale, the Parenting Stress Index-4 SF, and the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire. The quality of the parent-child relationship was assessed using the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory. The results of this study indicated that all parenting factors examined were significant predictors of the parent-child relationship quality. Age of the child was not a predictor. These findings have positive social change implications and can be used to increase practitioner knowledge of the impact of these parenting characteristics on parent-child relationship quality. Modification of treatment models could improve parenting behaviors, reduce parental stress and incidents of child abuse, and assess for the most conducive parenting styles for raising a disabled child.