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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Education, Early Childhood Studies


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Deborah R. Carter, Ph.D.


Textbooks often play a key role in introductory special education coursework, and may sometimes provide preservice teachers with their only exposure to certain topics. This descriptive study examines presentations of parental response to disability in 60 introductory special education textbooks, 20 each from the following periods: 1950-1969, 1970-1989, and 1990-2010. Raters documented whether responses presented were negative, positive, or neutral, and assigned scores to indicate a general degree of positivity or negativity for each book. Results indicated that textbooks across all periods discussed more negative responses. Textbooks from 1990-2010 presented significantly more positive responses than other periods, but they also discussed significantly more negative responses. The overall score of textbooks from 1990-2010 differed significantly in degree of positivity from those of both other periods, but the score was still associated with a negative tone. Characteristics of both positive and negative responses suggest the influence of Kübler-Ross (1969) in textbooks’ approach to parental response.