Date of Award

Spring 6-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Gayle Mindes

Second Advisor

Karen Monkman

Third Advisor

Martha Mason


Little research about fathers with young children with developmental disabilities or delays and their participation in early intervention/Part C programs is available. This study adds to existing scholarship through a narrative inquiry into the experiences of six fathers with children who have participated in early intervention services. Emergent themes within and across fathers' narratives include high levels of father engagement prior to entering early intervention, overall positive feelings about early intervention due to children's developmental progress, feelings of stress and frustration throughout participation in early intervention, varied relationship quality between fathers and early intervention service providers, an overall lack of understanding of the early intervention process, and varied levels of father capacity to help their children make developmental progress after early intervention ends. These themes are analyzed in the context of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological systems model. This study provides insight into how fathers perceive their experiences in early intervention programs and how those experiences impacted them.