There are a growing number of parents with intellectual disabilities living in the community. Many of their children are at risk of being placed in foster care each year based on the premise that intellectual disability impedes parenting success and contributes to poor child outcomes. However, interventions specific to these parents are sparse. This study is intended to extend the current body of research on parent training for mothers with intellectual disabilities. It provides a descriptive, exploratory analysis of the effect of the CARE to Parent Program, an experiential parenting intervention, on the multidimensional parent-child attunement of mothers with intellectual disabilities. It is known that when mothers with intellectual disabilities succeed as parents, they do so, in part, on the strength of their emotional interactions with their children. The CARE to Parent Program aims to strengthen these interactions by teaching mothers to integrate the principles of communication, awareness, responsiveness, and empathy into their parenting practices. It is hypothesized that this, in turn, will increase parent-child attunement and subsequently parental effectiveness. The study employed a one-group pre and posttest research design. Four mothers with intellectual disabilities were assessed, prior to and following the intervention. The assessment was based on raters' observations of parent-child interactions across various standardized contexts using analog assessment methodology. The observations were coded and analyzed to determine the effect of the treatment. In addition, inferences about the effect of the intervention were drawn through visual inspection and collection of mothers' subjective experience of the program. The results of this study indicate that the intervention produced some positive effects, thereby increasing the attunement of some mothers with intellectual disabilities following participation in the Care to Parent Program. However, it is questionable how significant the sum of these results are, since some changes in attunement levels were not significant given their p values, or were significantly lower at the posttest for some mothers. Thus, a few of the results are contrary to the hypothesis. Despite this finding, all mothers reported benefiting from the intervention. Limitations of the study, considerations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
|School:||Union Institute and University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Home economics education, Counseling Psychology, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Attunement, Developmental disabilities, Intellectual disabilities, Mothers, Mothers with mental retardation, Parent training, Parenting|
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