Systems Theory and an Application to Community Programs: Improving the Lives of People with Disabilities

By Alhajri Meshari and Jerome M. Fischer.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study used systems theory to investigate community programs (CPs) in a rural northwestern state. Micro-, meso-, and exosystem variables were examined. Participants were 26 CPs supporting 1,313 people with disabilities. Logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship of mesosystem variables of CP size, location, and association membership on microsystem variables. Most CPs were small (53%), rural (69%), and belonged to at least 1 professional organization (81%). Results suggested that small urban CPs that were members of an association had significant variables. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations included collaboration between CPs to influence stakeholders, formation of marketing and business coalitions, and use of associations to access state and federal programs. Sharing this information with other stakeholders along with an orientation to systems theory would encourage informed policymaking and cooperation in achieving optimum outcomes for people with disabilities.

Keywords: Systems Theory, Community Programs, People with Disabilities

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, 2012, pp.111-119. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 321.980KB).

Dr. Alhajri Meshari

Assistant Professor, Kuwait Public Authority for Applied Education & Training, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Meshari Alhajri is an assistant professor.

Dr. Jerome M. Fischer

Professor and Chair Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitative Services, University of Texas Pan-American, Edinburg, Texas, USA

Dr. Fischer obtained his doctorate at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale in 1992. He has been a professor at the University of Idaho since 1993. He has 25 research publications in counseling ethics, multicultural counseling, and emotional intelligence.