Teaching child-care skills to mothers with developmental disabilities

Author: Feldman, M.A.;Case, L.;Garrick, M.;MacIntyre-Grande, W.;Carnwell, J.;Sparks, B.
Year: 1992
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
Pages: 205-215
Abstract: The present study identified and remediated child-care deficits in parents with developmental disabilities to reduce their risk of child neglect. Eleven mothers with developmental disabilities who were considered by social service and child welfare agencies to be providing neglectful child care were found in baseline to have several important child-care skill deficits (e.g., bathing, diaper rash treatment, cleaning baby bottles) compared to non-handicapped mothers. Parent training (consisting of verbal instructions, pictorial manuals, modeling, feedback, and reinforcement) resulted in rapid acquisition and maintenance of child-care skills in all mothers. Mean percentage correct scores increased from 58% in baseline to 90% in training and 91% in follow up (N=31 weeks). The latter two scores compare favourably to the mean score (87%0 of 20 non-handicapped mothers on the same skills. Where observable, parent training was associated with corresponding benefits to the children (e.g., elimination of diaper rash and cradle cap, increased weight gain, successful toilet training). These results indicate that parent training may be a viable option to the removal of the child from the home when parenting skill deficits place the child's well-being in jeopardy.

The Parenting Research Centre acknowledges and respects the diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this country and the Elders of the past, present and future.