African American Parents and Attitudes About Child Disability and Early Intervention Services.
Evans, Deneen L. Feit, Marvin D. Trent, Theresa.
Published: January-February 2016
Journal of Social Service Research
Vol. 42, No. 1 , p. 96-112
Routledge -- Taylor and Francis Group
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Few studies have explored the attitudes of African American parents about child disability and early intervention services. Research and data suggest that early intervention services are effective in preparing preschool-aged children identified with disabilities for school. However, the underrepresentation of African American children enrolled in early intervention is an ongoing policy concern. This exploratory study examined the perceptions and attitudes of African American parents about child disability and early intervention services. In-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with ten African American mothers with preschool-aged children, ages birth to five, who were diagnosed with a developmental disability. Parental social support, parental spiritual connection, healthy parental childhood experiences with disability, parental comprehension of early intervention policy, and involvement of the child's father were significant findings identified by the mothers as contributors to positive attitudes about child disability and early intervention services. Human service workers must take into account the need to acquire culturally sensitive policies and practice skills to identify effectively, recruit, and retain African American families and their infants into early intervention services. (Author abstract)
African Americans; parental attitudes; children with disabilities; early intervention programs; parent child relationships; cultural competency