Health practitioners' perceptions of family attitudes toward children with disabilities

A comparison of six communities in a multicultural society

M. T. Westbrook*, V. Legge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cultural differences in families' attitudes and expectations regarding children with disabilities were investigated by a survey of the mainstream Anglo and the Chinese, Italian, German, Greek and Arabic ethnic communities in Australia. While the attitudes of the Germans were similar to those of the Anglo group, attitudes in other communities differed from the Anglo in the following ways: There was less expectation that children with disabilities should behave like other children, be included in family outings, play with neighborhood children or attend school. Their disabilities were more likely to be kept secret but less likely to be perceived as placing a strain on their parents' marriages. A son with a disability was considered particularly tragic. The findings are related to the individualistic or collectivist values of these communities. The implications for rehabilitation practitioners working in multicultural settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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