Navigation Links
Avoiding abuse: Empathy, realistic expectations key to raising a child with disabilities

ST. LOUIS Children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk for abuse and neglect from parents than children developing at a typical rate. So far, there was little evidence of specific parental behaviors that were associated with the risk, but a SLU study finds inappropriate expectations and lack of empathy play a significant role in triggering the risk.

Debra Zand, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University and the principal investigator of the project, conducted the study in a small group of parents in St. Louis with 67 participants. Findings of the study were published in Clinical Pediatrics.

"We already know that children with delayed or developmental problems are at 1.7 times greater risk for abuse than children without disabilities. In this study, we wanted to investigate areas of a parent's behavior or reaction that might increase this risk," Zand said.

Zand and her team recruited a group of parents (diverse in race, education and income) with children who have disabilities. Her team found that parents expected more and empathized less than the parents of children who don't have disabilities. The other categories of behavioral measurement included attitudes about punishment, perceived parent-child roles, and oppressing children's power and independence.

"We found that parents have higher expectations from their children, which may result asking them to achieve at a much higher standard than they are capable," Zand said. "We also saw that parents don't empathize toward their child's needs as much as parents of typically developing children, which suggests that these parents may not understand the needs or feelings of their children."

This group of parents often feels stressed and frustrated when their kids don't perform according to their expectations, which may lead to abusive behavior against children, Zand explained.

She says it's acceptable to push children a little out of their comfort zone, so they can grow and learn. But more often than not, parents have a difficult time understanding their child's experience and end up expecting more from them.

Zand believes pediatricians need to assess attitudes of parents that could increase the risk of abuse toward children and hinder the child from reaching his or her full potential.

"Parents often learn about appropriate parental behavior from a doctor, so pediatricians can educate them about healthy ways of dealing with their children," Zand said. "It can be an interactive session in which parents can ask pediatricians suggestions on how to make the situation better for the children."

It's also important for pediatricians to educate parents about the difference between spoiling a child and attending to his or her needs, Zand said.

"In addition to all this, parents need to find strong social support groups and engage in activities that help them be happy and feel competent," she said.

Contact: Riya Anandwala
Saint Louis University

Related medicine news :

1. Avoiding Horrible Gifts This Holiday Season: New Insights on Giving from Cellars Wine Club
2. Main Street Dental Team, Unionville’s Most Innovative Dental Clinic, Announces Top Tips for Avoiding Emergency Dental Surgery This Holiday Season
3. Staying on medication may not translate to avoiding readmission
4. Register to Join the Merrill DataSite's Webinar: Avoiding the Post-Merger Blues: How to Reduce the Risk of Post-deal Disputes
5. Avoiding Addiction When Powerful Opioid Painkillers Are Needed, From the November 2013 Harvard Health Letter
6. Avoiding the Hazards of Winter for Older Adults
7. Avoiding specific region of brain during whole-brain radiotherapy prevents memory loss
8. Download Merrill DataSites Report - Avoiding the Common Pitfalls in M&A Transactions
9. New Survey of Aging Experts Gives Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Family Feud when Caring for Aging Parents
10. 10 Tips to Avoiding Injuries During Exercise from Medicine in Motion
11. Avoiding Scary Situations May Leave Kids More Anxious: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Avoiding abuse: Empathy, realistic expectations key to raising a child with disabilities
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has ... the only hospital in the region providing what is known as the world’s ... patients were revealed recently at a medical conference and published in The New ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... TX (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Dr. ... of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, has been named by MedEsthetics magazine as the Best Single ... of the best among the many elite aesthetic physicians honored by the industry publication. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in medical payments ... to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a recent study ... Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with more than ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and discoveries, leading ... strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... It’s official: Tattoo taboo is a thing of the past. One ... (a whopping one in three aged 18 to 25 is inked). As tattoos transition ... ink. In fact, RealSelf , the world’s largest community for learning and sharing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... Contraceptive Injectables, Topical Contraceptives, Male Condoms, Female ... Vaginal Rings, Contraceptive Diaphragms, Contraceptive Sponges, Non-Surgical ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... Transparency Market Research (TMR).The report states that ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015  InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. (InCarda), a privately-held ... therapies for cardiovascular conditions via the inhalation route, today ... Australia . InCarda is planning to ... Australia in the first half of 2016. ... centers in Adelaide and Melbourne.  ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 ) ... Alert Systems/Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Market by ... Forecas" report to their offering. --> ... the "Medical Alert Systems/Personal Emergency Response System ... Geography - Global Forecas" report to their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: