Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Emese Vitalis


The mother-child relationship is important in the development of children, especially for children with intellectual disabilities who may have specific needs. Understanding the nuances, such as the closeness of the mother-child relationship for children with intellectual disabilities, is often overlooked even though more than 3 million children under 18 were reported to have an intellectual disability in 2019. Still, very few studies have focused on the relationship between mothers with children with an intellectual disability. With the rise in services provided due to developmental disabilities in children, there was a need to examine mothers’ perceptions of the ability level in their children with an intellectual disability and how these perceptions affect the mother-child relationship. A quantitative nonexperimental methodology using a purposive sample of mothers with children aged 8–12 who were previously diagnosed with intellectual disability (N = 34) was used for this investigation. The NIH Toolbox Parent Report Self-Efficacy Scale (NIH Toolbox) and the Child-Parent Relationship Scale (CPRS) were the instruments used to collect data for the independent variable, mothers’ perception, and the outcome variable, mother-child connectedness, respectively. Data were collected on the Survey Monkey platform. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the differences between two groups of mothers’ perceptions and mother-child connectedness. The one-way Welsh ANOVA, a modified version of the ANOVA, reported no statistical significance between the two groups of mothers, Welsh’s F(1, 3.126) = 6.166, p = .086. This result suggests that there is no association between how connected a mother feels toward her child with an intellectual disability and the number of functional impairments that she endorses for that child. Recommendations for future research are indicated.