The Relevance of Parental Characteristics for Developmental Delay in Children

Viniegra, Juan Manuel (Ph.D., 1985)

Thesis directed by Professor Peter G. Ossorio

There is little in the way of a comprehensive conceptualization of the phenomenon of developmental disabilities at the human level of families and their interaction. The conceptualizations we do have deal primarily with child development or individual personality. The present study provides a fresh look at conceptualizing how the parental characteristics of Performative and Insistence can be expected to make a significant difference in parent-child interactions and in the developmental deficit of the child.

In general, the pattern of results strongly suggests the notion that "Performative" and "Insistent" identify parent characteristics which are associated with additional developmental impairment in developmentally delayed children.

As predicted, the characteristics of the primary caretaker have more influence in the child's developmental deficits. In the present study Performative has a greater influence than Insistence, although this may be a peculiarity of the sample or of the assessment.

The study is significant in that it offers the helping profession some documentation of relevant variables and therefore some guidelines as to how more effective intervention programs for parents of handicapped children might be developed. [140 pp.]