Influence Of Parental Stress On The Academic Achievement Of Special Needs Children

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

Influence Of Parental Stress On The Academic Achievement Of Special Needs Children


Abstract


Some of the abnormal children face burden, distraction, interruption, tardiness, or risk factors so that they cannot get an optimum growth without special treatment or intervention. This study was aimed at discovering the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children. The population was 280 parents of children with special needs in ENugu educational zone, Enugu state. Findings indicated that good family background, disciplined homes, quiet and healthy family environment, regular and prompt attendance to family issues enhances academic achievement of students with special needs. Also, findings showed that attitudes of students with special needs influence their academic achievement and that parental stress influences the academic achievement of students with special needs. Parents that attributed their sources of stress to their child and parent characteristics will experience higher level of stress. The study concluded that parental stress associated with their child disability as well as other sources of stress such as parental attributions, financial constraints, spousal support and etc affect students academic achievement. It was recommended that the involvement of parents is something that should be developed in order to enhance children’s motivation, and they should be able to address their levels of stress and burnout by controlling the stressors.

 


Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Objective Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.7 Organization Of The Study
  • 1.8 Definition Of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Concept Of Children With Special Needs
  • 2.2 Concept Of Special Needs And Special Education Needs
  • 2.3 Parents’ Involvement
  • 2.4 Achievement Motivation
  • 2.5 Learning Achievement
  • 2.6 Influence Of Parent Factors On Students’ Academic Performance
  • 2.7 Theoretical Framework Of The Study
  • 2.7.1 Social Cognitive Theory
  • 2.7.2 Equivalency Theory

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Target Population
  • 3.3 Sample Size And Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Validity Of The Research Instruments
  • 3.5 Methods Of Data Collection
  • 3.6 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Special needs children are those children which require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. This status may be declared with the aim of providing benefits and assistance for the child’s well-being and growth. Special needs can also be legally provided, so as to care and train for them particularly in communities. The parent of special needs children may receive incentives such as a Special mediational tax credit or deduction to meet the high costs and efforts associated with child care and wellbeing. The term Special Needs is used to refer to a variety of conditions and impairments such as chronic and terminal illnesses, physical impairments, and psychiatric issues. This conditions increase the cost of attending and training children with special needs and also providing the associated assistance and medical attention needed to improve their condition and enhance quality life. The severity of a child’s condition may require extra cost and constant medical attention throughout their live time such as those with permanent life-threatening condition .A special needs child may require alternative approaches to education that not only accommodate their conditions but also work toward creating ways for them to further their own capacity to learn and develop. The study seeks to appraise the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children.

Numerous studies have been demonstrated that parents of child with an intellectual disability (ID) are likely to experience significantly higher levels of parenting stress than parents of nondisabled children (Rodrigue, Morgan, &Geffken, 1990; Dyson, 1997; Roach, Orsmand & Barrat, 1999). However despite these broad findings, it is also acknowledge that parents of children with a disability vary in the levels of stress they experience and that their levels of stress levels are associated with a wide range of variables (Frey et al. 1989; Quine &Pahl 1991; Baxter et al. 2000). A few studies have found that parenting stress is associated with the severity of the child ID’s (Minnes, 1998). Although others have failed to find any similar associations. (Beckman, 1983; Walker, Van Slyke, & New Brough, 1992). Generally it seems that specific characteristics associated with disability are more important correlates of parental stress (Minnes, 1998). These include child communication skills (Frey et al. 1989) and particularly the levels of the child’s behavioural and difficulties (Friedrich et al. 1981; Konstantareas & Homaditis, 1998; Quine &Pahl, 1991).

In the study by Perry, McGarvey and Pastor (1992) highlighted that specific child characteristics are directly correlated with the parents’ level of stress. These include age, sex, diagnosis, IQ, level of self-help skills, and so forth. Clearly, these characteristics do make an important contribution to parents’ stress level (De-Myer, 1979), but it is not a simple linear function and many other factors must be taken into account (Perry et. al., 1992). Parental stress is a factor in adjustment and was shown to be a function of the child’s presenting symptoms (such as hyper- irritability, sleep problem, self-abuse, etc.) and the family’s characteristics (e.g. support from father, stay at home) (Konstantareas & Homatidis, 1998). The child’s behavioural problems were the most common source of stress among mother and father in the study of 219 Australian parents who felt “ stretched beyond the limits” (80%) and “unable to cope” (52%) (Sharpley, Bistika, & Efremidis, 1997).

Thus, parents’ knowledge and involvement are crucial in dealing with their special need child. Today, integral to any early intervention programme is the recognition and the participation of the family. They are an essential part of the professional team. They should not be regarded as patients or silent extras but should think as teachers –in – partnerships or co-therapists. It’s important for professionals, who seriously want to help parents with special needs children, to work with parents in such way that they can start to and eventually rely on themselves and on fellow parents for innovative ideas and tips for the caring and teaching of their child. They should be empowered to draw upon their own strengths to help each other (Zuckerman, Lawrence, Yura& Michael 1979). The emphasis of providing parents with education and training is on long-term effects, on informed and skills follow up through time. Parents are usually the first to encounter and deal with the problematic behaviours. They are the best person to facilitate their children.

In our country, there are various places and centre that cater for the special needs children. At the same time they also act as a parents support group. The KIWANIS (Center for Learning Disabilities), Dyslexic Centre, TAS PUTRA (Taman Asuhanuntuk Kanak-Kanak Cacat), and many more are among the establish centre for special children as well as support group for parents. Their aim basically to help those children to maximize their potential and achieve independent, fulfilled life. Besides, they also aim to provide a holistic programmes and training for the parents, families and caregivers. They constantly conduct the programs and training for the parents. However, there are no studies that really focus on the effectiveness of those programs on the parents’ psychosocial well being.
Parent education, training or psychoeducation has been defined as “treatment procedures in which parents are trained to alter their child’s behaviour at home” (Kazdin, 1997). Educating parents has become widely regarded as a necessary component of treating children with disabilities (Sofronoff & Farbotle, 2002). Parent training has been seen as more efficient as opposed to clinician-delivered program (Koegel et al., 1984). Beside the cost effectiveness, the parents in the parent training program were able to decrease their custodial care, had more time for leisure activities, decreased isolation, increased self efficacy and confidence. Parent training was seen as the most useful interventions in helping them deal with their child on a daily basis. Research has consistently shown that parent education is beneficial both the child and parent. Taking example of children with ASD whose parents participate in parent education show better generalization and maintenance of learned skills (Lerman, Swiezy, Perkins-Parks & Roane,2000) improved joint attention, engagement, and communication skills, decreased behavioural problems ( Feldman& Werner,2002) and more appropriate behaviour and fewer stereotypes. In addition, the treatments effects of parent training are longer, lasting than clinician- delivered intervention.

A few intervention studies have addressed the information and support needs of the parents of children with other chronic diseases. Psycho-educational interventions have been tested with positive results for parents of children with other chronic conditions such as diabetes (Anderson & Ho, 1990; Mc Nabb, Quinn, Murphy, Thorp, & Cook, 1994), asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease (Campbell, Clark, & Kirkpatrick, 1995) and cancer (Kazak et al., 1997). There few of intervention studies that focus on its effectiveness on the parents’ psychosocial well being have been reported in the literature. Therefore this is a preliminary research that intends to study how effective the psycho educational programme in helping parents to deal with their special needs children in Malaysia.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Human development happens continuously or simultaneously. Success in reaching the stage of development will determine the success in the following stage. If the process of development is hampered and disrupted it would be difficult to achieve optimal development and growth. This suggests conceptually that children with special needs have broader meanings and spectrums than the concept of exceptional, disabled, or disadvantaged children.

Children with different abilities not only include children who have special needs that are permanent due to certain disabilities, but also children with temporary different abilities. Children with temporary different abilities are called risk factors such as individuals who have problems in their development that may be affected by their future learning abilities, or having vulnerabilities, weakness or high risks on the appearance of obstacles or disorders in learning or in the following development.

Children with “special needs” or better known as children with different abilities refer to the children who experienced obstacles in the development of his behavior. According to Handoyo (2001), “behavior is all actions of an individual, smaller, or greater, that can be seen, heard, and perceived by the sense of taste in the skin, and (not in the heart) by others or selves”. Therefore, behavior includes speech or voice, movements or actions either in the form of irregular or irregular movements, intended or unintended, intentionally or unintentionally, and useful or useless. The behavioral development of children with special needs will cause barriers in a certain aspect. Because the two types of behavior are required in social communication. Then, learning process of these children will be obstructed if they are not cared and treated properly.

The economic condition of the family and the quality of relationship the parents have with the children are extremely essential for the well-being and development of the child. Special need children demand extra care and support. Small and Eastman (1991), as cited in (Alvy, 1987, p. 19), stated the responsibilities of parenting to include providing basic resources, caring for the home, protecting children, guiding and supporting children’s physical and psychological development and (e) advocating with the wider community on behalf of the children. However, it is necessary for parents to understand that high levels of anxiety will have a negative impact on children and could lead to depression or feelings of isolation which will also affect their academic performances. The problem confronting the study is to appraise the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The fundamental objective of the study is to proffer an appraisal of the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children.

The specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To determine the nature of special needs children.
  2. To establish how the family background influences the academic achievement of students with special needs.
  3. To establish how attitudes of students with special needs in their academic achievement.
  4. To determine the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the nature of special needs children?
  2. Does the family background influence the academic achievement of students with special needs?
  3. How do attitudes of students with special needs influence their academic achievement?
  4. What is the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • HO1: There is no significant influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children
  • HA1: There is a significant influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The study proffers an appraisal of the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children. The study shall therefore serve as veritable source of information to stakeholders to proffer interventions which will address the problem.


1.7 Organization Of The Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children. The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Special Need Children:

Special needs children are those children which require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. This status may be declared with the aim of providing benefits and assistance for the child’s well-being and growth. Special needs can also be legally provided, so as to care and train for them particularly in communities.

Parental Stress:

Is associated with lower emotional well-being in parents

Academic Achievement:

Is the extent to which a student or institution has achieved either short- or long-term educational goals.


Chapter Five


5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

This study was carried out to assess the influence of parental stress on the academic achievement of special needs children. The overall goal of the project was to report the preliminary result on the effectiveness of the program in reducing parental stress associated with their child disability as well as other sources of stress such as parental attributions, financial constraints, spousal support and etc. It also was trying to examine on how the parental stress affected parents’ psychological wellbeing. Other than that, it also meant to investigate were there any relationship between child characteristics as well as parent characteristics and parental stress. As reported in the result section, there were differences of parental stress and psychological wellbeing before and after they attended the program. It showed that the total stress among parents was reduced after the program (as measured by PSI), at the same time, they also presented with good psychological wellbeing as measured by GHQ. There was also positive relationship between the child characteristics as well as parent characteristics and parental stress. Parents that attributed their sources of stress to their child and parent characteristics will experience higher level of stress.


5.2 Recommendation

The above study shows that how big is the magnitude of the influence of parental involvement on achievement and motivation of students with special needs. Motivation as an inner process or psychological process that occurs in an individual is strongly influenced by various factors. Consequently, the involvement of parents is something that should be developed in order to enhance children’s motivation, and they should be able to address their levels of stress and burnout by controlling the stressors. The results also show the magnitude of the influence of parental involvement on learning achievement of children with special needs.


Influence Of Parental Stress On The Academic Achievement Of Special Needs Children


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