Intellectually limited mothers

Author: Kaminer, R.;Cohen, H.
Year: 1983
Reference Type: Book Section
Journal/Book Title: Developmental Handicaps: Prevention and Treatment
City: Washington, D.C
Publisher: AAUAP
Pages: 42
Abstract: The paper examines whether a relationship exists between intellectual limitation on the mother's part and unfavorable outcomes for her children. The scope of the problem is examined and the difficulties inherent in estimating prevalence are noted. The issue of child neglect, rather than abuse is shown to be a major problem among institutionalized mentally retarded parents. Studies supporting this problem are cited. Further research indicating that factors other than the mother's intelligence--such as willingness to place the child's needs ahead of her own--may be more important predictors of the mother's ability to improve her child care skills. Additional factors include absence of significant emotional problems and experience in child care. It is suggested that a variety of environmental, medical, economic, and social factors may affect the outcome, with intellectual limitation on the mother's part being additive to other negative environmental influences. Possible intervention approaches include following up children via home visitors, parent skill training, and helping with immediate needs. The paper suggests building in a system of non-coercive supports to existing social, medical, and educational services. Nine recommendations (including screening for literacy by welfare workers and appropriate family planning education in special education programs) are followed by suggestions to medical care or social service personnel for giving instructions, providing more outreach, using family-centered supports for mother and father, and adopting appropriate attitudes. Two final sections address implications for Title V public programs and the role of University Affiliated Facilities.
Located in: Assessment

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