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Journal article

Generic family support services: are parents with learning disability cared for?

Author:
LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Mental Handicap Research, 7(1), 1994, pp.64-77.
Publisher:
BIMH Publications

Reviews the provision of training provision for parents with learning disability in New South Wales.

Journal article

Mothering differently: narratives of mothers with intellectual disability whose children have been compulsorily removed

Authors:
MAYES Rachel, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 37(2), June 2012, pp.121-130.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare

In Australia parents with intellectual disability are significantly more likely to have their children removed than parents with other disabilities. This qualitative study aimed to explore and describe the daily life narratives of 7 mothers with intellectual disability following the involuntary removal of their children. Participants were recruited through a family support service for parents with intellectual disability whose children had been removed through statutory child protection proceedings. Narratives were gathered through semi-structured in-depth interviews about experiences prior to and following removal of the child or children. The 7 mothers had experienced child removal on 14 separate occasions. The article reports on the multiple and varied stories of the mothers, with illustrative examples from the interviews, covering the 3 distinct narratives identified: "living as the mother I am", "living as the mother I should be", and "not feeling like a mother any more". The authors discuss the findings and their implications

Journal article

The role of formal support in the lives of children of mothers with intellectual disability

Authors:
COLLINGS Susan, GRACE Rebekah, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(3), 2017, p.492–500.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Background: Mothers with intellectual disability face socioeconomic disadvantage and social isolation, which is associated with poorer child outcomes. Social services feature prominently in the lives of mothers with intellectual disability especially those without informal support; however, the role of formal support in the lives of their children has not been explored. Methods: Seven children aged 7–11 years took part in semi-structured interviews to explore their social experiences. Stories about interactions at home, school and with peers were analysed to illuminate influences, including social support, in their lives. Results: Formal support can provide an enduring relationship for children from socially restricted homes when it focuses on the child's abilities, interests and needs as distinct from those of their mother. Child-focused support can be from a paid worker or volunteer. Conclusions: Family support services need to apply a child focus to improve the well-being of children in vulnerable families. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Negotiating with gatekeepers in research with disadvantaged children: a case study of children of mothers with intellectual disability

Authors:
COLLINGS Susan, GRACE Rebekah, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Children and Society, 30(6), 2016, p.499–509.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Child-oriented researchers have long recognised children's right to be heard in research about their lives and, as experts about childhood, their perspectives should inform social policy and research. While it is encouraging that more children are consulted about matters of importance to them, some children's voices remain silenced. When researchers have to liaise with adults, such as parents and social workers, to recruit children, these adults make decisions about who participates. An account of recruiting children of mothers with intellectual disability, a potentially disadvantaged group, is presented. The reasons for gatekeeping and the implications of this are explored. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Good, bad or absent: discourses of parents with disabilities in Australian news media

Authors:
FRASER Vikki, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28(4), 2015, pp.319-329.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Background: News media frames public perceptions. As such, news media becomes a useful source of analysis to understand the presence (or otherwise) of people with disabilities, particularly intellectual disabilities, within parenting discourses. Method: Using Critical Discourse Analysis, this article examines major Australian newspapers over the period from January 2004 to December 2008, critiquing the construction of parenting and disability. A small number of articles are examined in close depth for tone, polarity syntactic and paradigmatic choice, deconstructing the underlying discourses that shape the article and thereby popular perceptions of parenting and disability. Discussion: Discourses of care and child protection are emphasized in news articles about parenting, creating perceptions that negate the role of people with disabilities as parents. Such perceptions result in a systematic symbolic castration of people with intellectual disabilities from the role of parent in Australian society. Conclusion: By providing a framework for understanding the public perceptions of parents with disabilities (particularly intellectual disabilities), this paper demonstrates that changes are necessary in Australian media reporting on parents with disabilities to bring such reporting more closely in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Development and psychometric properties of the family life interview

Authors:
LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23(1), January 2010, pp.52-62.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study describes the development and trialling of the Family Life Interview (FLI), a clinical tool designed to examine sustainability of family routines. The FLI, a self-report instrument completed by a parent within a semi-structured practitioner-parent interview, was administered to 118 parents, with re-test interviews being conducted with 39 parents. Rasch analysis was used to examine scale structure, evidence for construct validity and precision of measurement of the FLI items. Logistic regression was used to explore the contribution of the FLI to predicting out-of-home placement scores. The FLI produced valid data on the sustainability of family routines. The FLI was found to be useful for predicting families at risk of seeking out-of-home placement driven by crisis. The FLI offers practitioners a psychometrically sound instrument designed to illuminate the particularity of each family's circumstances, critical to developing interventions for increasing the sustainability of family routines.

Journal article

Support network of mothers with an intellectual disability: an exploratory study

Authors:
LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 24(1), March 1999, pp.7-26.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare

This article addresses the characteristics of the support networks of mothers with intellectual disability who, as a group, are among the most socially isolated mothers in Australian society. Mothers' support networks were defined as the core of their social networks. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data revealed three distinct types of support networks based on mothers' living arrangements as follows: mothers living in a parent/parent figure household, mothers living with a partner in their own household. Emphasises the need for considering maternal living arrangements prior to determining professional involvement in mothers' lives.

Journal article

The social-emotional well-being of children of mothers with intellectual impairment: a population-based analysis

Authors:
HINDMARSH Gabrielle, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth, EMERSON Eric
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(3), 2017, p.469–481.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Background: Children of parents with intellectual impairment are thought to be at risk for poor social-emotional well-being. This study investigated the relationship between maternal intellectual impairment and poor child social-emotional well-being. Method: Secondary analysis of data from waves 2–4 of the Millennium Cohort Study (UK). Social-emotional well-being was measured by maternal report at Waves 2–4, with teacher and child self-report at Wave 4. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. Results: Unadjusted, maternal intellectual impairment was associated with an elevated risk of overall poor social-emotional well-being at ages 3 and 5, but not at age 7. After controlling for individual, family and environmental characteristics, no statistically significant association was found between maternal intellectual impairment and poor child social-emotional well-being. Conclusions: Children of mothers with intellectual impairment are more likely than their peers to be exposed to adverse living conditions. These living conditions may explain, at least in part, why these children face a heightened risk of poor social-emotional well-being at ages 3 and 5. Improving the living conditions of mothers with intellectual impairment may offer a pathway to child social-emotional well-being. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Children of parents with intellectual disability: facing poor outcomes or faring okay?

Authors:
COLLINGS Susan, LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 37(1), March 2012, pp.65-82.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare

Children of parents with intellectual disability (ID) are assumed to be at risk of developmental, academic, behavioural, and social adjustment problems. The aim of this review is to gain an understanding of the current state of knowledge of children of parents with ID. A database and reference search identified 26 studies on child outcomes for review. Two groups of studies were identified. The first investigated an association between parental intellectual disability and child outcomes where there was significant disadvantage. Some findings suggest low parental intellectual capacity can negatively impact child outcomes, but others indicate child development approaches population norms. A second, small group of studies explored narrative accounts of childhood to find that social exclusion, bullying, and stigma are commonplace. Removal from parental care emerged as a significant risk for this group of children. The review concludes that the studies do not reach a consensus about likely developmental or behavioural outcomes, with some children of parents with ID faring well and others at risk of less than ideal outcomes. The children studied usually come from clinical populations or other high-risk groups, and are typically young children.

Journal article

Out-of-home placement of school-age children with disabilities and high support needs

Authors:
LLEWELLYN Gwynnyth, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 18(1), March 2005, pp.1-6.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study explored the relationship between family life variables and out-of-home placement tendency for families of school-age children with disabilities and high support needs. This study was a prospective cohort study of 81 families with children with disabilities and high support needs aged between 6 and 13 years. There were two waves of data collection 12–18 months apart involving in-depth interviews with the primary carer. Out-of-home placement tendency was associated with three interrelated family life variables: (i) difficulty balancing the demands of caring and the needs of other family members; (ii) sharing workload and responsibility; and (iii) integrating the child into the everyday world. Family capacity to continue balancing the demands of caring and the needs of other family members is central to maintaining family-based placement.

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