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Understanding maternal support for autonomy in young children with Down syndrome


Gilmore, L and Ryan, B and Cuskelly, M and Gavidia-Payne, S, Understanding maternal support for autonomy in young children with Down syndrome, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 13, (2) pp. 92-101. ISSN 1741-1122 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Wiley Periodicals

DOI: doi:10.1111/jppi.12163


Prior research has highlighted the importance of supporting the autonomy of children with Down syndrome from early childhood. There is some evidence to suggest that mothers of children with Down syndrome are more directive than those whose children are developing typically. However, the factors that contribute to maternal autonomy supportive vs. directive behaviors are not well understood. The current study aimed to explore the value and importance that mothers place upon their child's autonomy, as well as the specific factors that influence the support they provide. Interviews were conducted with 14 mothers of young children with Down syndrome. It was revealed that mothers held aspirations for their children's future that included autonomy and independence; however, their capacity to promote autonomy was sometimes constrained by a range of child and family factors, as well as by their focus on developing skills for independent functioning. Understanding the factors that may constrain support for autonomy represents an essential step in the process of designing interventions for promoting maternal support for autonomy in families of children with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, independence, mothers, support for autonomy
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Child and adolescent development
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Families and family services
UTAS Author:Cuskelly, M (Professor Monica Cuskelly)
ID Code:111466
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-09-14
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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