Effectiveness of home-based intervention on the language development of children of mothers with mental retardation

Author: Feldman, M.A.;Sparks, B.;Case, L.
Year: 1993
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Volume: 14
Pages: 387-408
Abstract: The authors evaluated the effects of a home-based parent training program for mothers with mental retardation on the language development of their children who were at risk for language delay. The participants, 28 mothers labeled mentally retarded with children under 28 months of age, initially showed significantly fewer positive mother-child interactions and child vocalizations and verbalizations than did a comparison group of 38 families with children of similar age whose mothers were not mentally retarded. The 28 mothers with low IQ were then matched on child entry age and randomly assigned to either an interaction training or attention-control group (this group received training in safety and emergency skills unrelated to interactions). Interaction training consisted of verbal instruction, modeling, feedback, and tangible reinforcement. After training, the training group scores were no longer lower than those of the comparison group of mothers without mental retardation and were also significantly higher than the scores of the attention-control group on all maternal positive interactions, child vocalizations, verbalizations, and language and social domains of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Speech emerged significantly sooner in the training group as compared to the control group. The training group parents and children maintained improvements up to 82 weeks following training, and the attention-control group, when subsequently trained, replicated the original training group results. Thus, home-based parent training increased positive maternal interactions of mothers with mental retardation, which facilitated language development in their young children.

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