Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Topics in Early Childhood Special Education (2005) 25(1): 48-58. Copyright 2005, Pro-Ed/SAGE. Used by permission.


In the past, the assessment of families’ satisfaction with the quality of their partnerships with the professionals who serve their children has been restricted to specific programs or age groups, precluding investigation of the relationship between parents’ perspectives on satisfaction and the importance of partnership components for children at different ages. Differences in policies, service models, and family needs at different life-cycle stages suggest a need to understand how satisfaction might differ among parents of children of different ages. In this study, 147 parents completed the Beach Center Family-Professional Partnership Scale to describe the perceived importance of and satisfaction with 18 aspects of their child and family’s relationships with their primary service provider. No differences in importance ratings among parents of children ages birth to 3 years, 3 to 5 years, and 6 to 12 years emerged, but there were differences among satisfaction ratings, with parents of older children reporting lower satisfaction. Exploratory analyses relating satisfaction levels across other demographic variables also took place. Implications of these findings for future research and application are discussed.