Empowerment Status of Families Whose Children Have Serious Emotional Disturbance and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Nirbhay N. Slngh, W. John Curtis, Cynthia R. Ellis, Hollis A. Wechsler, A. L.M. Best, Robert Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Empowerment is a critical indicator of a family's ability to access and effectively utilize services to achieve desired outcomes for themselves and their children. The empowerment status of two groups of families, those with children who had serious emotional disturbance (SED) alone and those with children who had SED combined with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), were investigated. The Family Empowerment Scale (FES) was completed by a sample of 228 families. In addition, these families provided demographic data concerning family composition, race, education, income, membership in a parent support group, and the mental health status of their children. The demographic variables were entered into a multivariate analysis of variance model to predict the empowerment status of families across the four subscales of the FES. Statistically significant correlations were obtained between family empowerment and membership in a parent support group, mental health status of the child (SED alone versus SED with ADHD), gender of the respondent, and respondent education. The results indicated that membership in a parent support group was a strong predictor of family empowerment, particularly of the systems advocacy and knowledge dimensions of empowerment. The results of this study can be used by mental health services providers for designing services that maximize family empowerment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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