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Title:An Investigation of the Influence of Parents on Teachers' Placement Recommendations for Borderline Handicapped Children Using a Social Power Framework
Author(s):Yoshioka-Maxwell, Barbara Kimie
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Abstract:In an effort to secure the least restrictive appropriate educational placement for the handicapped, Public Law 94-142 has guaranteed the rights of the handicapped to due process by, among other things, mandating the involvement of parents for all decisions affecting the educational welfare of their handicapped children. Although the legal precedent established by Public Law 94-142 is of monumental significance for the handicapped this aspect of the new law is based on the untested assumption that parents can and do influence decisions. This study attempted to test this assumption.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of parent SES and parent type on special education teachers' placement recommendations for borderline handicapped children and to examine the tenability of French and Raven's Bases of Social Power model as an explanation of the differential impact of different types of parents. An experimental laboratory simulation method using a 2 x 4 repeated measures design was employed. Using a vignette format, child characteristics were held constant and two levels of SES (lower class and middle class) and four levels of parent type (no contact, pressure, socially reinforcing, and supportive) were systematically manipulated.
71 teachers of the educationally handicapped participated in the study. All 71 teachers were asked to read each vignette and rate the likelihood that they would recommend the child described for a mainstreamed (50% of the time or more in a regular classroom) setting. 41 of the 71 subjects were also asked to rate their response to each parent on nine social power statements corresponding to the eight bases of social power proposed by French and Raven. Process tracing data were also collected on the 41 teachers to document teachers' spontaneous accounts of the rationale for each decision made.
Subsequent analyses of the data revealed no significant effect for parent SES, but a significant main effect for parent type on teachers' placement recommendations for borderline handicapped children. Post-hoc exploration of the data revealed differences in teachers' responses to the different types of parents based on the type of parent involvement experienced by teachers. Multiple comparisons for teachers experiencing active parent involvement and teachers experiencing passive parent involvement showed that children with supportive parents were more likely to be mainstreamed than children with no-contact parents for both groups, but teachers were found to respond differently to the socially reinforcing parent. Teachers experiencing active parent involvement rated children with reinforcing parents no differently than children with no-contact parents, both of whom were rated significantly lower than children with supportive parents. Conversely, teachers experiencing passive parent involvement rated children with reinforcing parents no differently than children with supportive parents, both of whom were rated significantly higher than children with no-contact parents. No effect for the pressure parent was observed.
Analysis of the social power data revealed that the parent's influence was not based on many difference sources as was originally hypothesized using French and Raven's model. Instead, the parent's influence was essentially based on one factor, her ability to increase the child's chances of success in the regular classroom (i.e., her willingness to help and support the child). Therefore, the usefulness of French and Raven's Bases of Social Power taxonomy was questioned. However, an argument was made for the usefulness of the social power concept in explaining the differential influence of various types of parents. Implications for parent training were discussed.
Issue Date:1980
Description:134 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8026625
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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