Research with representative samples of children with intellectual disabilities and their parents has consistently demonstrated much higher levels of psychopathology and poorer well-being amongst both children with intellectual disabilities and their parents compared with those without intellectual disabilities. Although these differences in psychopathology are often assumed to be an inevitable consequence of the child's intellectual disability and therefore to result in an inherently stressful parenting role, here, we briefly review the research evidence for an alternative proposition, namely that poverty and socio-economic position may play an important part in the development and maintenance of psychopathology in both children with intellectual disabilities and their parents. We review evidence that families with a child with intellectual disabilities are more likely to be living in poverty, and that differences in socio-economic position between families with a child with or without intellectual disabilities can substantially account for differences in child and parent psychopathology. Potential mechanisms linking poor socio-economic position to family psychopathology are outlined, together with some brief implications for policy and practice.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- intellectual disabilities
- mental health
- socio-economic position