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The Impact of Social Supports on Families of Young Children with Disabilities Living in Low-Income Communities

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Title: The Impact of Social Supports on Families of Young Children with Disabilities Living in Low-Income Communities
Author: Stoddart, Revlon D.
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Program: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Advisor: Brophy, Kathleen
Abstract: The present study focuses on families of children with disabilities living in low-income communities. Little research has been done previously on these families in poverty and the importance of social supports for children with disabilities. The sample consisted of 663 participants; there were 523 families of children without a disability and 140 families of children with a disability living in low-income communities. Poverty is associated with negative influences that may hinder a child’s development, moreso, the development of children with disabilities. Additionally, elevated levels of maternal depression, stress and diminished social support is related to poverty and/or at-risk situations. Importantly, social support may minimize the pressures faced by parents or children within the community. There were four parental variables used in this research along with the use of social supports (formal and informal), concerns about access to formal supports and perceived social support. Chi-squares, independent t-tests and correlation analyses were conducted to determine significant differences between both groups. The results indicated that both groups are quite similar; whereas families of children with a disability were statistically more likely to visit a health and social service professional.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3037
Date: 2011-09
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