Effective parenting is vital for a child’s development. Although much work has been conducted on parenting typically developing children, little work has examined parenting children with Down syndrome.
The purpose of the current study was to compare the parenting styles and dimensions in mothers of children with DS and mothers of TD children.
Thirty-five mothers of children with DS and 47 mothers of TD children completed questionnaires about parenting, parental stress, child behavior problems, and child executive function.
We found that mothers of children with DS use an authoritative parenting style less and a permissive parenting style more than mothers of TD children. Additionally, we found that mothers of children with DS use reasoning/induction and verbal hostility less and ignoring misbehavior more than mothers of TD children. All of these differences, except for those of reasoning/induction, were at least partially accounted for by the higher levels of parental stress in the DS group.
Parenting interventions should be focused on reducing parental stress and training parents to parent under stress in an effort to improve parenting techniques, which would, in theory, improve long-term child outcomes for children with DS.
Research in Developmental Disabilities
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Phillips, B. Allyson, "Parenting Children with Down Syndrome: An Analysis of Parenting Styles, Parenting Dimensions, and Parental Stress" (2017). Articles. 126.