First Advisor

Jack Hegrenes

Term of Graduation

Spring 1973

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Children with mental disabilities -- Family relationships, Intellectual disability -- Diagnosis, Counseling



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 70 pages)


This is a report of a descriptive study in which a random sample of fifty out of four hundred returned questionnaires from parents with a mentally retarded child were analyzed. The foci of analysis were: (1) parental attitudes toward the child; (2) the changes experienced by the family as affected by birth order and sex of the mentally retarded child; (3) how the diagnosis was accomplished; and (4) how in their opinion services during this diagnostic period could be improved.

The data revealed that: (1) protectiveness toward the child is the predominant parental response; (2) negative changes are probably twice as high with an only child who is retarded; (3) male retardates are somewhat more disruptive than are female; (4) diagnosis must be individualized; however, generalizations which can be made include: understandable language, patience, empathy, and above all honesty.


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A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

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