Parameters of successful and unsuccessful interventions with parents who are mentally retarded

Author: Budd, K. S.;Greenspan, S.
Year: 1985
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Mental Retardation
Volume: 23
Issue: 6
Pages: 269-273
Abstract: This paper reports the results of a survey of behaviorally-oriented therapists concerning their experience in conducting parent training with caregivers labeled mentally retarded. Respondents completed one questionnaire per family on up to five families on which they had attempted parent training and in which the mother was considered mentally retarded. Responses on 53 objective items and 3 open-ended questions were scored according to explicit categories, and independent reliability 68 indicated high inter-observer agreement. descriptive and statistical analyses of the survey results indicated that parent training programs for clients who are mentally retarded were more elaborate, more directive, and longer that typical programs for non-handicapped parents. Slightly less than half of the families made substantial improvements on the referral problems, and continued training was seen as necessary in most cases to obtain generalized benefits or adequate long-term functioning. The most positive outcomes were associated with parents who showed higher initial levels of child care and adaptive functioning, and by mothers who were actively involved in treatment. Results suggested that parents' behaviour toward their children, not parent intelligence per se, determined whether or not parents were seen as adequate caregivers. Overall, the findings indicate that some parents who are mentally retarded can benefit meaningfully from parent training interventions, and they suggest some variables and modification that can contribute to more effective outcomes.

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