Classification and validation of family climate subtypes in Kibbutz fathers of disabled and nondisabled children

Malka Margalit, Yona Leyser, Yakov Avraham

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The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of disabled children on their fathers. Perceptions of family climate, sense of coherence, and satisfaction from family life were measured among 66 fathers of disabled children and among 74 fathers with nondisabled children in an Israeli kibbutz. The fathers of disabled children showed lower sense of coherence, derived less satisfaction from family life, and viewed their families as less encouraging of personal growth among family members. Four subtypes of family climate patterns, perceived by fathers of disabled children, were identified by cluster analysis and validated by the sense of coherence and global family satisfaction measures. Cluster analysis for the fathers of nondisabled children replicated the subtypes identified. The four subtypes were conceptualized as families with a (a) personal growth orientation, (b) conflict orientation, (c) conflict avoidance orientation, and (d) recreation avoidance orientation. Significant differences were found between the subtypes with regard to the family climate variables and satisfaction and coherence measures. Results demonstrated that different patterns of family climate characterized the two groups of fathers: In almost every cluster the measures of personal growth were lower for the fathers of disabled children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1989


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