Sunday, July 13, 2014
Mothers of Developmentally Disabled Children
I find it interesting that 35% of mothers parenting children with developmental disabilities experience intense isolation (Gupta, 2007). Even if the isolation is only perceived, the effects are tremendous and have the potential to cause chronic stress and a plethora of deleterious effects. I also found it compelling that 65% of this population did not experience the isolation and negative effects of parenting children with developmental disabilities. One longitudinal study found no difference in the well being of parents raising children with intellectual disabilities, and that many parents maintain positive perceptions of raising children with developmental disabilities (Mailick Seltzer, Greenberg, Floyd, Pettee, & Hong, 2001). Because of the discrepancy in the experiences of these parents, it seems important to identify the underlying issues that may exist. For example, if lower socioeconomic status exacerbates the experiences of isolation, it would be important to determine what types of interventions may ameliorate these social effects in this particular segment of the population.
As always, when vastly different experiences are reported within a population, it becomes salient to examine the foundational influences. It seems to me that targeting these basic underlying factors may have the potential to produce a beneficial effect on the 35%.
Gupta, V. (2007). Comparison of parenting stress in different developmental disabilities. Journal Of Developmental & Physical Disabilities, 19(4), 417-425. doi:10.1007/s10882-007-9060-x
Mailick Seltzer, M., Greenberg, J. S., Floyd, F. J., Pettee, Y., & Hong, J. (2001). Life Course Impacts of Parenting a Child With a Disability. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 106(3), 265. doi: 10.1352/0895-8017(2001)1062.0.CO;2