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Family quality of life of Chinese families of children with intellectual disabilities


Mrs Xiaoyi Hu, Beach Center on Disability, University of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, 3136 Haworth Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA (e-mail:


Background  The concepts of quality of life and family quality of life (FQOL) are increasingly being studied in the field of intellectual disabilities (ID) in China as important frameworks for: (1) assessing families' need for supports and services; (2) guiding organisational and service delivery system changes; and (3) evaluating quality family outcomes. The present study focused on exploring the perceptions of Chinese families who have a child with an ID regarding FQOL as well as examining the factor structure of FQOL concept from Chinese families.

Methods  The Chinese version of the Family Quality of Life Scale was used to survey Chinese families living in the urban and suburban areas of Beijing who have a child with ID. A total of 442 families participated in this study. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the factor structure of FQOL. Multivariate analysis was also used to examine group differences among families in terms of family demographic variables.

Results  A five-factor structure of the FQOL construct was found in the Chinese sample, suggesting a similar factor structure found from US families in the literature. Different living conditions (e.g. housing and transportation) tended to affect significantly families' satisfaction ratings of their FQOL. It is also found that family income and severity of disability of the child are predictors of families' satisfaction ratings of FQOL.

Conclusion  The preliminary findings of this study suggest a cross-cultural factor structure comparability of FQOL between samples in the USA and China. Results call for further examination of the family-centred service and support as a mediator on the interactive relationship between family characteristics, family needs and FQOL outcomes.