Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Human Development, Consumer and Family Sciences


This exploratory study used qualitative methodology to understand and describe the resilience of rural families of adults with mental retardation. Two research ideas were investigated: (a) Families who have an adult member with mental retardation will experience risk factors similar to those found by past research. These risk factors will be affected by similar vulnerability and protective factors found by previous research, and (b) Additional risk and protective factors will emerge within rural families of adults with mental retardation. A qualitative analysis was applied to the transcripts of nine semi structured interviews conducted with families in rural Midwestern communities. Results are reported as noteworthy codes that represent various risk and protective factors. Noteworthy codes are organized within the categories of (a) comparable risk factors, (b) comparable protective factors, (c) additional risk factors, (d) additional protective factors, and (e) additional rural risk factors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural families -- Psychology Resilience (Personality trait) People with mental disabilities -- Family relationships



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University