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Parents with learning disabilities: a counselling psychology perspective.

Jenkins, V. (2009). Parents with learning disabilities: a counselling psychology perspective.. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)



Parents with learning disabilities belong to a disadvantaged group in society. A consequence of which their children may be at risk of a range of adversities, including courtesy stigma. Research has shown that certain factors can promote resilience for children who grow up in difficult circumstances, yet there has been little enquiry of this kind with the children of parents with learning disabilities. This research examined the role of attachment and social support in protecting children’s self-esteem from the risks posed by courtesy stigma.


This study took a quantitative, variable-focused approach to examining the relationships between courtesy stigma, self-esteem, attachment and social support, using four self-report measures. Twenty-four children and their parents took part in this investigation.


Attachment to mother and social support were seen to act as resilience variables. However, social support was found to be determined by attachment style. Overall, children reported few relationships outside of the immediate family.


These results suggest services to parents with learning disabilities should look to include attachment-based intervention in their work with these families. They also indicate children may benefit from intervention to help build strategies to develop peer relationships.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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