Date of Completion

Spring 4-30-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Michael Copenhaver

Honors Major

Allied Health Sciences


Educational counseling provides information about resources and treatments available, as well as coping strategies that may be beneficial to families with a child suffering from a disability. The purpose of this study is to determine if a specific parent educational counseling program may improve outcomes for the child’s development and family quality of life. Fifty parents (ages 25-50) with children (ages 3-18) who have a chromosome abnormality and at least one comorbid condition will be recruited from pediatric offices in Massachusetts through flyers and nominations. Participants will be separated into two groups and will undergo the five-year longitudinal study. A control group will receive no educational counseling program (n=25), but will receive the same questionnaires and compensation as group two. The second group (n=25) will be enrolled in the counseling program and will attend focus group discussions once a month. Both groups will complete seven questionnaires: at baseline and then in increments of 12 months. Reported family quality of life and child outcomes will be measured to determine the effectiveness of a program to help parents raise a child with a chromosome abnormality. Physicians can refer parents to the program as part of diagnosing and treating the child.