Parental causal attributions for child misbehaviour and their relationship with parenting strategies : a comparison between parents of children with intellectual disabilities and typically developing children

Jacobs, Myrthe and Woolfson, Lisa and Hunter, S. (2014) Parental causal attributions for child misbehaviour and their relationship with parenting strategies : a comparison between parents of children with intellectual disabilities and typically developing children. In: 4th International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities European Congress, 2014-07-14, University of Vienna.

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Abstract

Aim: Research suggests that parental causal attributions for child behaviour influence parenting strategies. The study aimed to investigate this relationship in parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) compared to parents of typically developing (TD) children. The study specifically focused on attributions of control by separating these from attributions of responsibility, blame and intent. Method: Fifty-one parents of children with ID and 69 parents of TD children completed the Written Analogue Questionnaire to measure causal attributions and the Parenting Scale to measure parenting strategies. Results: Parents of children with ID viewing their child as more in control over misbehaviour reported using more ineffective strategies compared to parents of TD children. Parents of children with ID feeling more responsible for their child’s misbehaviour reported using less ineffective strategies, while this relationship was not found for parents of TD children. Conclusion: The results advance understanding of how parents perceive behaviour problems in children with ID and the role these perceptions play in parental behaviour management strategies. More importantly, these perceptions affect strategies differently for parents of children with ID compared to parents of TD children, highlighting that interventions should be adapted to the specific needs of parents of children with ID.