Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Karen R. Blaisure

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary Bischof

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Ponchilia


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was an impact of congenital blindness upon family functioning and interaction. This research investigated the level of blindness upon family adaptability, cohesion, satisfaction, and social family climate from a family systems perspective. The study analyzed data from a sample of 56 participants who were parents/care-givers of children age 0-12 years with either no vision, partial vision, or full vision. Chi-squares were computed to determine if any of the demographic variables differed among the three groups. Respondents’ gender, relationship to child, age, child’s level of blindness, number of siblings, and household income variables differed significantly among groups (p < .05). Participant’s marital status, ethnicity, levels of education, residential area, people living in the household, children’s gender, people moving in or out of the home, and participant’s visual impairment did not differ among groups (p < .05). To determine if the levels of blindness had significant impact on the dependent variables (i.e., family adaptability, cohesion, satisfaction, and social family climate), multiple analyses of variances (MANOVA), univariate F tests, group contrast analysis and post hoc tests (Tukey Student Standardized Range Test) were conducted for between and within groups. A statistically significant difference was found on the family satisfaction variable. Group contrast analysis indicated significant interaction, F(1,53 ) = 6.38, p = .0146. Univariate F tests and post hoc tests revealed that between and within groups levels of family satisfaction were significantly lower for the no vision group than for the partial and full vision groups. No significant differences were found on adaptability, cohesion, and social family climate. The study was limited by its small sample size and possibility of sampling error. The results suggest that family satisfaction may be influenced by a child’s congenital blindness. Professionals providing services to families with congenitally blind children are urged to offer interventions and resources to enhance family satisfaction.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access