Jean Ann Summers, Ph.D.

Jean Ann Summers
  • Research Professor Emerita, Life Span Institute

Contact Info

Dole Human Development Center, 4089
1000 Sunnyside Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66045


Dr. Summers served as Research Director for the Research and Training Center on Community Living and principal investigator for Access to Success, a project to teach college students with disabilities how to request reasonable accommodations. She was formerly the Director of Research for the Family Research Unit of the Beach Center, and is a Research Professor at the Life Span Institute at the University.

She has conducted research, published results, and presented both nationally and internationally on a number of topics related to family support for families of children with disabilities, family-professional partnerships, family quality of life, and early childhood education. She was Director of the Kansas University Affiliated Program (now called University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) from 1982 to 1989. She was a Research Associate Professor at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project in Kansas City, Kansas, where she participated in a national longitudinal study of Early Head Start programs and in an evaluation of district-wide school reform.  

Her other projects have included: (1) Director of Project Success, a grant from the Kansas Department of Education to provide technical assistance to schools in improving reading and math instruction for students with disabilities in reading and math; (2) Principal Investigator of the Kansas Deaf-Blind Project, which also provides peer coaching and other training to professionals to serve students who are deaf and blind in Kansas, but in addition coordinates the annual census and identification of children who have dual sensory impairments, and provides family support services to families of these children; and (3) Principal Investigator of a grant from the federal Institute for Educational Science, to develop a curriculum for preschool special educators and families to encourage the development of foundations for self-determination in young children with disabilities.


Ph.D. in Special Education, University of Kansas, 1987, Lawrence, KS
B.S. in Human Development, University of Kansas, 1982, Lawrence, KS

Selected Publications

Blue-Banning, M., Summers, J.A., Nelson, L.L., & Frankland, C. (2004) Dimensions of family and professional partnerships:  Constructive guidelines for collaboration.  Exceptional Children, 70(2), 167-184.

Nelson, L.G.L., Summers, J.A., & Turnbull, A.P. (2004).  Boundaries in family-professional relationships:  Implications for special education.  Remedial and Special Education, 25, 253-165.

Wang, M., Mannan, H., Poston, D., Turnbull, A.P., Summers, J.A. (2004).  Parents’ perceptions of advocacy activities and their impact on family quality of life.  Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(2), 144-155.

Wang, M., Turnbull, A.P., Summers, J.A., Little, T.D., Poston, D.J., Mannan, H., & Turnbull, H.R. (2004).  Severity of disability and income as predictors of parents’ satisfaction with their family quality of life during early childhood years.  Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(2), 82-94.

Raikes, H.H., Summers, J.A., & Roggman, L.A. (2005).  Father involvement in Early Head Start programs.  Fathering:  A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice About Men as Fathers, 3(1), 29-58.

Summers, J.A., Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., Turnbull, A., Poston, D., & Nelson, L.L.  (2005).  Measuring the quality of family-professional partnerships in special education services.  Exceptional Children.  72(1), 65-83.

Summers, J.A., Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., & Turnbull, A.  (2005).  Parent satisfaction with their partnerships with professionals across different ages of their children.  Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 25(1), 48-58.

Summers, J.A., Poston, D.J., Turnbull, A.P., Marquis, J., Hoffman, L., Mannan, H., & Wang, M.  (2005).  Conceptualizing and measuring family quality of life.  Journal of International Disability Research, 49, 777-783

Summers, J.A., Boller, K., Shiffman, R.F., & Raikes, H.H.  (2006). The meaning of “good fatherhood”:  Low-income fathers’ social constructions of their roles.  Parenting Science and Practice, 6, 145-165 

Hoffman, L., Marquis, J. G., Poston, D. J., Summers, J. A. S., & Turnbull, A. P. (2006). Assessing family outcomes: Psychometric evaluation of the Family Quality of Life Scale. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 1069-1083.

Brookes, S., Ispa, J., Summers, J.A., Thornburg, K., & Lane, V. (2006).  A qualitative exploration of factors influencing successful engagement of parents in Early Head Start.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21, 25-45.

Wang, M., Summers, J.A., Little, T., Turnbull, A., Poston, D., & Mannan, H. (2006).  Perspectives of fathers and mothers of children in early intervention programs in assessing family quality of life.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50, 977-988.

Summers, J.A., Marquis, J., Mannan, H., Turnbull, A.P., Fleming, K., Poston, D., Wang, M., & Kupzck, K.  (2007).  Relationship of perceived adequacy of services, family-professional partnerships, and family quality of life in early childhood service programs.   International Journal of Development, Disability, and Education, 54(3), 319-338.   

Turnbull, A.P., Summers, J.A., Turnbull, H.R., Brotherson, M.J., Winton, P., Roberts, R., Snyder, P., McWilliam, R., et al. (2007).  Family supports and services in early childhood:  A bold vision.  Journal of Early Intervention, 29(3), 187-206

Turnbull, A.P., Summers, J.A., Lee, S.H., & Kyzar, K.  (2007).  Conceptualization and Measurement of Family Outcomes Associated with Families of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13, 346-356

Summers, J.A., & Wall, S.  (2008).  Cross referrals between programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities:  Perceptions of Part C and Early Head Start providers.  Infants & Young Children

Zuna, N.I., Turnbull, A., & Summers, J.A.  (2009).  Family quality of life: Moving from measurement to application.  Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 6(1), 25-31.

Zuna, N.I., Selig, J.P., Summers, J.A., & Turnbull, A.P.  (2009).  Confirmatory factor analysis of a family quality of life scale for families of kindergarten children with disabilities.  Journal of Early Intervention, 31(1), 111-125.

Epley, P., Summers, J.A., & Turnbull, A. (2010).  Characteristics and trends in family-centered conceptualizations.  Journal of Family Social Work, 13(3), 269-285.

Brotherson, M.J., Summers, J.A., Naig, L.A., Kyzar, K., Friend, A., Epley, P., Gotto, G.S. IV, & Turnbull, A.P.  (2010).  Partnership patterns: Addressing emotional needs in early intervention.  Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), 32-45.

Epley, P., Gotto, G.S. IV, Summers, J.A., Brotherson, M.J., Turnbull, A.P., & Friend, A. (2010).  Supporting families of young children with disabilities: Examining the role of administrative structures.  Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), 20-31.

Eskow, K., Pineles, L., & Summers, J.A. (2011).  Exploring the effect of autism waiver services on family outcomes.  Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 8(1), 28-35.

Zajicek-Farber, M. L., Wall, S., Kisker, E. E., Luze, G., J., & Summers, J. A. (2011). Comparing Service Use of Early Head Start Families of Children with and without Disabilities, Journal of Family Social Work 14(2), 159-178.

Epley, P.H., Summers, J.A., & Turnbull, A.P. (in press).  Family outcomes of early intervention: Families' perceptions of need, services, and outcomes.  Journal of Early Intervention.

Maude, S.P., Brotherson, M.J., Summers, J.A., Erwin, E.J., Palmer, S., Peck, N.F., Zheng, Y.Z., Kruse, A., & Haines, S.J.  (in press).  Performance: A strategy for professional development in early childhood teacher preparation.  Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

Erwin, E.J., Brotherson, M.J., & Summers, J.A. (in press).  Understanding qualitative meta-synthesis: Issues and opportunities in early childhood intervention research.  Journal of Early Intervention.