Sociocultural studies of families of children with intellectual disabilities.

TitleSociocultural studies of families of children with intellectual disabilities.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSkinner, D, Weisner TS
JournalMental retardation and developmental disabilities research reviews
Date Published2007
KeywordsChild, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Ethnic Groups, Family, Female, Health Policy, Health Services Needs and Demand, Humans, intellectual disability, Male, Politics, Poverty, Prejudice, Quality of Life, Sex Factors, Social Conditions, Social Environment, Socioeconomic Factors

This article reviews recent sociocultural studies of families of children with intellectual disabilities to introduce the range of research conducted from this perspective and to highlight the methodological, conceptual, and theoretical contributions of this approach to the study of mental retardation. Sociocultural studies examine families within their cultural, historical, and sociopolitical contexts. This type of research is comparative across different cultural groups, but is not limited to such comparisons. Sociocultural studies use varied theories and methods, but they share a focus on families' coproduction of meanings and practices related to intellectual disability; families' responses and adaptations to disability; and how their understandings and experiences are shaped within larger social institutions and inequities. Sociocultural approaches take into account community contexts that matter to families with members with mental retardation or developmental delay, and they examine the broader systems that define and position individuals with disabilities and their families. As a whole, these studies provide a more experiential and holistic view of families' beliefs and adaptations within sociopolitical worlds, and offer new tools by which to study the families of children with developmental delays within and across different cultural groups.

Alternate JournalMent Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev