Using self-instructional pictorial manuals to teach child-care skills to mothers with intellectual disabilities

Author: Feldman, M.A.;Ducharme, J. M.;Case, L.
Year: 1999
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Behavior Modification
Volume: 23
Issue: 3
Pages: 480-497
Abstract: Children of parents with intellectual disabilities (i.e., IQs less than 80, labeled as having mental retardation) are at risk for neglect due to inadequate parenting abilities. Previous studies have shown that these parents an:responsive to parent-training packages consisting of instructions, pictorial cues, modeling, feedback and reinforcement. This study evaluated the effectiveness of self-learning pictorial-parenting manuals in teaching basic child-care skills (diapering, treating diaper rash, bathing, safety) to parents with intellectual disabilities who are monitored by child protection agencies. The manuals alone increased child-care skills (to levels seen in parents without disabilities) in 9 out of the 10 mothers in the study and in 12 of 13 child-care skills. The remaining skill was acquired with the full training package. Follow-up indicated that the acquired skills were maintained for up to 3 years. Mean comet performance with the manual was positively correlated with the trainer's rating of the mother's reading level and acceptance of the manual when the mother was first given the manual. Consumer satisfaction ratings of the manuals were high. These results indicate that many parents with intellectual disabilities may improve their child-care skills without intensive training and that self-instruction may be an easily disseminable and cost-effective way of reducing the risk of child neglect due to parenting skill deficiencies.

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