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Interventions for Parents of People with Intellectual Disabilities

Abstract

Parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) consistently report higher levels of parenting stress than parents of typically developing children, which has psychological and physical consequences for both the parent and child. Further, high levels of parenting stress are often associated with poor outcomes in behavioral interventions for children with ID. Thus, parental stress and mental health concerns in general are critical targets for intervention. Nevertheless, there are few evidence-based treatments aimed at reducing stress in parents of children with ID. Parent-led support groups are the most common type of intervention for these parents; however, little empirical evidence is available to support the efficacy of these interventions. Other evidence-based interventions include mindfulness, cognitive-behavior therapy, respite, and behavioral parent training interventions. We argue for a combined intervention model that addresses both parental stress and child behavior problems directly in order to optimize outcomes for children with ID and their families.

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Correspondence to Cameron L. Neece.

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Cameron L. Neece and Evan J. Lima declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Intellectual Disability

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Neece, C.L., Lima, E.J. Interventions for Parents of People with Intellectual Disabilities. Curr Dev Disord Rep 3, 124–128 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40474-016-0088-4

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Keywords

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Developmental disorders
  • Parenting stress
  • Children with ID
  • Review