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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1985 Nov;26(6):847-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1985.tb00602.x.

The effects of mentally handicapped children on families--a conceptual review.

Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines

E A Byrne, C C Cunningham

PMID: 2933420 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1985.tb00602.x


Recent research which examines the effects of mentally handicapped children upon families is reviewed. The studies are grouped into three categories based on the underlying conceptions which appear to guide them. The first category examines which families are most vulnerable to the presumed stress of a mentally handicapped child. The second category emphasises the material and practical problems families experience. The third category stresses the competence of families and describes the resources used to develop coping strategies. Links are drawn between these three categories and to parallel developments in related areas, and implications for future research are discussed.

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