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ERIC Number: EJ897526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Predicting the Unpredictable? Identifying High-Risk versus Low-Risk Parents with Intellectual Disabilities
McGaw, Sue; Scully, Tamara; Pritchard, Colin
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v34 n9 p699-710 Sep 2010
Objectives: This study set out to identify risk factors affecting parents with intellectual disabilities (IDs) by determining: (i) whether perception of family support differs between parents with IDs, referring professionals, and a specialist parenting service; (ii) whether multivariate familial and demographic factors differentiates "high-risk" from "low-risk" parenting; and (iii) the impact of partner relationships on parental competency and risk status. Methods: Secondary data analysis was conducted on data gathered from 101 parents with IDs and 172 of their children, all of whom had been referred to a specialist parenting service over a 5 year period. Results: Cross-tabulations were applied to the data to examine causal processes and to improve general understanding of the risks associated with families. Contrary to popular expectations IQ levels of the main parent, relationship status, parental age, employment, amenities, valued support and parents' perception of need were not identified as contributory factors distinguishing "high-risk" from "low-risk" parents. Instead, "high-risk" parenting associated more with parental reports of childhood trauma (emotional abuse and physical neglect in particular), parents' having additional special needs in addition to their IDs or parents who were raising a child with special needs. Other "high-risk" factors identified related to the male partners of mothers with IDs, many of whom did not have IDs and/or whose histories included anti-social behaviors or criminality. Conclusions: The study identified some high-risk variables among parents with IDs that can distinguish them from low-risk parents with IDs. Practice implications: These findings generate challenges for agencies who attempt to capture the needs of parents with IDs and who endeavour to provide services to families deemed to be "at risk." These outcomes will be of special interest to the courts, especially when parents with IDs are involved in care proceedings. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A