Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Special Education

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Patricia Alvarez McHatton, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Phyllis Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daphne Thomas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Liliana Rodriguez Campos, Ph.D.


best practices, culturally diverse families, culturally responsive practice, early childhood special education, early intervention, family centered practices


The cultural and linguistic diversity of the United States is growing rapidly and early intervention service providers are very likely to work with families whose cultures differ from their own. Service providers must consider the multiple cultural factors of families which contribute to family dynamics and the potential for miscommunication is high when the cultural frameworks of early intervention providers differ from those of the families they serve. Culturally responsive practices have been put forth in the theoretical literature as a way to increase successful communication and service provision but there is limited research investigating the beliefs, experiences, and practices of early intervention providers regarding cultural responsiveness and the efficacy of specific practices.

This study utilized an exploratory case study methodology with multiple case analyses to investigate the expressed beliefs and practices of in-service early intervention providers regarding culturally responsive practices and comparing them to the tenets of best practice set forth in the conceptual literature. Specifically, the study tested the theory that cultural responsiveness is an integral component of effective early intervention service provision.