Competence promoting vs. competence inhibiting social support for mentally retarded mothers

Author: Tucker, M.B.;Johnson, O.
Year: 1989
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Human Organisation
Volume: 48
Issue: 2
Pages: 95-107
Abstract: Social support for mothers is primarily seen as promoting parental competence and well being. Yet, social support may have a negative influence that can seriously inhibit effective parenting performance. Ethnographic research on mildly retarded parents is used to examine interpersonal aspects of social support to develop a multi-dimensional model of social support and parenting. The model, based on the assumption that the mere existence of a support network is not sufficient to predict parental coping and competence, distinguishes between support that promotes child caretaking competence and support that inhibits competence. Furthermore it is argued that competence promoting support is developed in the context of a low level of environmental strain in the support system, a positive perception of parental caretaking competence, and the extent to which the system provides support directly to the parent, rather that directly to the child.

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