Conceptualizing and measuring family quality of life


Jean Ann Summers, Beach Center on Disability, University of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Ave, 3111 Haworth Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA (e-mail:


Background  Increasing emphasis on family-centred approaches to services and supports for families of children with disabilities has surfaced the issue of accountability for family outcomes. We present a review of literature about the impacts of children with disabilities on families as a backdrop to proposing family quality of life as a concept that encompasses impacts of disability and one that can be used to assess the impact of supports and services on families.

Method  We briefly introduce the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale, providing information about its factor structure, reliability and convergent validity.

Results  The Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale contains 25 items assessing family ratings of importance and satisfaction with five domains: Family interaction, Parenting, Emotional well-being, Physical/material well-being and Disability-related supports.

Conclusion  We present a framework for utilizing a measure of family quality of life as a long-term outcome in concert with other short-term measures of service outcomes for families.