Socio-economic factors: their relationship with child and family functioning for children with Down's syndrome

Stephen Turner, Patricia Sloper, Christina Knussen, Cliff C. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The families of 118 children with Down's syndrome, aged from six to fourteen years, took part in a study which sought to clarify the relationships between a large number of descriptor variables and a range of child and parental outcome measures. Previous studies had suggested that socio-economic factors may be related to both child and parental outcomes, and a number of such variables were included in the present study.

By using multiple regression analysis, it was possible to discriminate between single variable associations and those which remained significant when other associated variables were taken into account. In this way, parental educational qualifications were found to be associated with the children's IQ and mental age scores, and with the extent to which they participated in organised activities. Social class was related to the extent of the children's play contacts and to changes in their mental age scores. More specific aspects of social and economic disadvantage, such as inadequate housing and finance, unemployment, and lack of a car, were related to child behaviour problems and to measures of parental stress and satisfaction. Mothers in manual social classes were more likely to have increasing levels of stress.

The implications of these findings for service providers are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-100
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1991


  • Down's syndrome
  • disabled children
  • parents
  • families and relationships


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