Behavioural and cognitive outcomes in young children of mothers with intellectual impairments

Publication Year
2017

Type

Journal Article
Abstract

Background
Despite an increase in international studies examining the experiences of parents with intellectual impairments and their children, few have utilised population-based data. This study investigated the behavioural and cognitive outcomes of 3-year-old US children of mothers with intellectual impairments compared with children of mothers without intellectual impairments.

Methods
This study employed a secondary analysis of the Fragile Families Child and Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study in the US. Our analytic sample included mothers with intellectual impairments (n = 263) and a comparison group of mothers without intellectual impairments (n = 1298), as well as each sampled mother's focal child. When weighted, Fragile Families is representative of all births in US cities with populations over 200 000.

Results
Children of mothers with intellectual impairments had poorer behavioural and cognitive outcomes in comparison to same-age children of mothers without intellectual impairments. Notably, however, children of mothers with intellectual impairments were not at increased risk of being aggressive unless their family income was below 200% of the federal poverty level. Further, families headed by mothers with intellectual impairments experienced multiple hardships related to socioeconomic factors, limited social supports and poor self-reported health.

Conclusion
Appropriate policies and programmes must be developed and implemented to effectively support these families, such as increased financial benefits.

Journal
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume
61
Issue
1
Pages
50-61