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Motivation in children with intellectual disability


Cuskelly, M and Gilmore, L, Motivation in children with intellectual disability, Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 1, (1) pp. 51-59. ISSN 2329-7018 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

DOI: doi:10.1080/23297018.2014.906051


This article addresses the questions of whether there are motivational deficits in children with intellectual disabilities, whether those with Down syndrome are more likely to display motivational deficits, and how motivation might be supported. The available literature that has examined motivation in children with intellectual disabilities was considered and integrated to address the questions outlined above. There is little published research on this vital topic. Reports on motivational problems differ depending upon the method of data collection. Observational studies using structured tasks generally reveal no differences between children with intellectual disabilities and typically developing children matched for mental age. When reports of parents or teachers are used, children with intellectual disabilities appear to have deficits in motivation. No evidence was found for a particular deficit in children with Down syndrome. The results of this review challenge the perception that children with intellectual disabilities will generally have motivational problems, although it is clear that motivation is a complex construct, not easily examined in those with intellectual disabilities. Strategies for addressing problems and for maintaining motivation, based on theory and evidence, are provided. These strategies are applicable across a range of settings including the home, school, and more adult-oriented services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:motivation, persistence, preference for challenge, intellectual disability
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Special education and disability
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Inclusive education
UTAS Author:Cuskelly, M (Professor Monica Cuskelly)
ID Code:113488
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-01-04
Last Modified:2017-10-16

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