Skip to main content

Parents’ Perspectives on Wellbeing among Children with Disabilities in Trinidad: Using Sen’s Capability Approach and Mixed Methods

Abstract

This paper examines parents’ perspectives on wellbeing among children with disabilities in Trinidad using mixed methods and Sen’s capability approach. In an exploratory phase a list of functionings is identified from interviews with parents and advocates of these children. In the second phase the qualitative information is used to develop a questionnaire which is administered among parents of children with disabilities in the final phase. The questionnaire contains both closed and open-ended questions which respectively measures wellbeing among children with disabilities and collects information on hindering factors. Twenty-nine functionings of importance were identified and parents’ responses in the final phase indicate deprivations in all functionings including those related to basic needs. Targeted responses to girls with disabilities and children with multiple disabilities are required as greater deprivation was revealed among them. Results also indicated the absence of various societal structures which hindered the achievement of fundamental rights and freedoms and overall wellbeing among children with disabilities. Moreover, the integrated findings suggest the need for public systems regarding therapy, supportive devices, disability-related health-care services, and transportation, as well as improvement to the education system, specifically the provision of accommodations within the regular schools necessary for the inclusion of children with disabilities.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Data Availability

The data is not deposited in any repository because of confidentiality reasons.

Notes

  1. 1.

    https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/.

  2. 2.

    Here, disability is seen as a consequence of the limited societal structures, which in turn affects participation on an equal opportunity basis by persons with impairments (Leonard Cheshire Disability 2006).

  3. 3.

    Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island Republic in the Caribbean. For this study, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years (United Nations 1990).

  4. 4.

    See for example, Benson (2010), Raina et al. (2005), Olsson and Hwang (2001), and Woolfson (2010).

  5. 5.

    Notably if functionings related to school books and acceptance by teachers were calculated based on the entire sample since all children should be enrolled in school then these functionings were moderate deprivations.

  6. 6.

    http://news.gov.tt/content/children-special-needs-receive-special-disability-grant-children#.X6xAXWhKg2w

  7. 7.

    https://www.scholaro.com/pro/Countries/Trinidad-and-Tobago/Education-System

References

  1. Alkire, S. (2009). The capability approach to the quality of life. Background Report Prepared for the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. http://www.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr/documents/capability_approach.pdf.

  2. Benson, P. R. (2010). Coping, distress, and wellbeing in mothers of children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder, 4, 217–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2009.09.008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Blackman, S.N.J., Conrad D.A, & Philip, L.M. (2017). The pre-university experiences of persons with disabilities in Barbados and Trinidad. International Journal of Special Education 33(2), 238–270. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1184058.pdf.

  4. Blackman, S. N. J., Conrad, D. A., & Philip, L. M. (2018). Responding to barriers to inclusion: The voices of tertiary level students with disabilities in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago”. In D. A. Conrad & S. N. J. Blackman (Eds.), Responding to Learner Diversity and Difficulties (pp. 395–416). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Burchardt, T. (2004). Capabilities and disability: The capabilities framework and the social model of disability. Disability & Society, 19(7), 735–751. https://doi.org/10.1080/0968759042000284213.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Creswell, J. W. (2015). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Conrad, D. A., & Brown, L. I. (2011). Fostering inclusive education: Principals’ perspectives in Trinidad and Tobago. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(9), 1017–1029. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110903490721.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dodge, R., Daly, A., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. (2012). The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 222–235. https://doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v2i3.4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Fetters, M. D., Curry, L., & Creswell, J. W. (2013). Achieving integration in mixed methods design - prinicples and practices. Health Services Research, 48(6), 2134–2156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Finkelstein, V. (1999). A profession allied to the community: The disabled people’s trade union”. In E. Stone (Ed.), Disability and development: Learning from action and research on disability in the majority world (pp. 21–24). Leeds: The Disability Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Forgeard, M. J. C., Jayawickreme, E., Kern, M., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Doing the right thing: Measuring wellbeing for public policy. International Journal of Wellbeing, 1(1), 79–106. https://doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v1i1.15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gordon, D., Nandy, S., Pantazis, C., Pemberton, S., & Townsend, P. (2003). Child poverty in the developing world. Bristol: The Policy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hogan, D. P., Rogers, M. L., & Msall, M. E. (2000). Functional limitations and key indicators of wellbeing in children with disability. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 154(10), 1042–1048. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.154.10.1042.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2007). An array of qualitative data analysis tools: A call for data analysis triangulation. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(4), 557–584. https://doi.org/10.1037/1045-3830.22.4.557.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Leonard Cheshire Disability. (2006). The UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. doi:https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.development.1100310.

  16. Mack, N., Woodsong, C., McQueen, K., Guest, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative research methods: A data collector’s field guide. Durham: Family Health International.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ministry of Education. (2004). Quality education for all young people: Challenges, trends priorities. National Report on the Development of Education in Trinidad and Tobago 2004. Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: Ministry of Education. http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/ICE47/English/Natreps/reports/ttobago_scan.pdf.

  18. Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (2017). MSDFS hosts public consultation on the revised draft national policy on persons with disabilities. Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: Ministry of Social Development and Family Services http://news.gov.tt/content/msdfs-hosts-public-consultation-revised-draft-national-policy-persons-disabilities#.WVGtDoWcHmI.

  19. Ministry of the People and Social Development. (2005). National policy on persons with disabilities. Ministry of the People and Social Development: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Mitra, S. (2018). Disability, health and human development. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  21. Mitra, S., Posarac, A., & Vick, B. (2013). Disability and poverty in developing countries: A multidimensional study. World Development, 41, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.05.024.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Olsson, M. B., & Hwang, C. P. (2001). Depression in mothers and fathers of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 45(6), 535–543. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2788.2001.00372.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Onwuegbuzie, A.J., & Leech, N.L. (2007). Sampling designs in qualitative research: Making the sampling process more public. The Qualitative Report 12(2), 238–254. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol12/iss2/7.

  24. Parey, B. (2019) Understanding teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with disabilities in inclusive schools using mixed methods: The case of Trinidad. Teaching and Teacher Education, 83, 199–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.04.007.

  25. Parey, B. (2020a). Accommodations for the inclusion of children with disabilities in regular schools in Trinidad: A mixed methods approach. International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2019.1701719.

  26. Parey, B. (2020b). Using Sen’s capability approach to assess wellbeing among working-age persons with disabilities in Trinidad. Social Indicators Research, 151(3), 1129–1148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02418-4.

  27. Parish, S. L., & Cloud, J. M. (2006). Financial wellbeing of young children with disabilities and their families. Social Work, 51(3), 223–232. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/51.3.223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Raina, P., O’Donnell, M., Rosenbaum, P., Brehaut, J., Walter, S. D., Russell, D., et al. (2005). The health and wellbeing of caregivers of children with Cerebral Palsy. Pediatrics, 115(6), 626–636. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2004-1689.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Robeyns, I. (2003). Sen’s capability approach and gender inequality: Selecting relevant capabilities. Feminist Economics, 9, 61–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/1354570022000078024.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Robeyns. I. (2017). Wellbeing, freedom and social justice. The capability approach re-examined. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.

  31. Sen, A. (1993). Capability and well being. In M. Nussbaum & A. Sen (Eds.), The Quality of Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Trani, J.-F., & Cannings, T. I. (2013). Child poverty in an emergency and conflict context: A multidimensional profile and an identification of the poorest children in Western Darfur”. World Development, 48, 48–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.03.005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Tomlinson, S. (2001). Sociological perspectives on special and inclusive education. NASEN, 16(4), 191–192.

    Google Scholar 

  34. United Nations. (1990). Convention on the rights of the child. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf.

  35. United Nations. (2019). Disability and Development Report 2018. Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with persons with disabilities. United Nations: New York.

  36. Wooldridge, J. M. (2002). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. London, UK: The MIT Press.

  37. Woolfson, L. (2010). Family well-being and disabled children: A psychosocial model of disability-related child behaviour problems. Health Psychology, 9(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1348/135910704322778687.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

The fieldwork for this research was partially funded by The School for Graduate Studies and Research at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Grant Number: CRP.5.APR17.62 – Fieldwork/Data Collection: Area of Research: “Disability and Poverty in Trinidad”.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bephyer Parey.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

Ethical approval for the research was granted by the Campus Ethics Committee of the University of West Indies. Ethical Approval Number: CEC 209/05/17-Disability and poverty in Trinidad.

Conflicts of interest

The author has no potential conflict of interest.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Parey, B. Parents’ Perspectives on Wellbeing among Children with Disabilities in Trinidad: Using Sen’s Capability Approach and Mixed Methods. Child Ind Res 14, 1635–1651 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-020-09801-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Children with disabilities
  • Wellbeing
  • Sen’s capability approach
  • Mixed methods
  • Trinidad