Community Support in Israeli Kibbutz and City Families of Children with Disabilities: Family Climate and Parental Coherence

Malka Margalit, Yona Leyser, Dee B. Ankonina, Yaakov Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of community support on families of disabled children. Families were investigated in two environments: in the Israeli kibbutz, where resources are provided by the community according to needs, and in the Israeli city, where the family system must cope individually with its increased needs for resources. Perceptions of family climate and sense of coherence were studied among two groups of parents with disabled children (43 kibbutz families and 48 city families) and were compared with those among two groups of control families with nondisabled children (49 kibbutz families and 51 city families). The comparison of parental perceptions revealed significant differences. Parents of disabled children in the two environments expressed a lower sense of coherence and viewed their family climate as less supportive and as providing less opportunities for intellectual and leisure activities than the control group. The discrepancies between the fathers’ and mothers’ scores were greater among the parents of handicapped children than among the control parents, in family cohesion, achievement orientation, and control. The lack of the expected mediating impact of additional resources in the kibbutz environment suggests that future research should focus on the subjective meaning of support. These results call for interventions geared toward empowering parents to develop family environments that foster the sense of coherence among its members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Special Education
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1991

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