Congratulations! Marcela Tenorio and Paulina Arango won two research funds

Foto de Marcela y foto de Paulina sonriendo. Las fotos están superpuestas sobre un fondo borroso de una lupa, un libro y un lápiz, que representa la investigación.
In their projects, the researchers will study families of babies with Down syndrome (Marcela) and the upbringing of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (Paulina).

By Gabriela Campillo.

MICARE’s alternate director, Marcela Tenorio, and our research associate Paulina Arango, each won the National Fund of Scientific and Technologic Development (FONDECYT by its acronym in Spanish), given by the National Agency of Research and Development (ANID) from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

Both researchers are also professors at the School of Psychology in Universidad de los Andes, Chile.

Marcela Tenorio won the project “Paving the way to autonomy: an interdisciplinary approach to the relationship between early interactions and adaptive behaviors in babies with Down syndrome.”

The main goal of Marcela’s study is to analyze the relationships between the interactions established by parents of babies with Down syndrome, with the development of their adaptive behaviours.

The research seeks to advance in the development of a comprehensive model that supports a multilevel intervention program that can improve the quality of life of these families.

Why is this important?

The scientific study of conditions with Down syndrome that are associated with intellectual disabilities is essential for us to move towards comprehensive models and forms of support based on evidence.

This will also allow transforming the social fabric for the full exercise of rights of this group and their families.

What does Marcela’s study imply in practice?

120 children and their parents will participate in this study. 60 minors live with Down syndrome between 12 and 36 months, and 60 minors present typical development.

Of these families, 40 will be invited to participate in a program aimed at improving early interactions.

The program will be worked together with UNICEF and Chile Crece Contigo.

“We are happy to move forward in the area of disability studies in Chile. We invite interested families and institutions to contact us”, says Marcela Tenorio, alternate director of MICARE and academic of Psychology at Universidad de los Andes.

Paulina Arango won the project “Raising Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: A Mixed Methods Study”.

The aim of Paulina’s study is to explore the impact that parenting attitudes and styles have on the mental health problems of parents versus the challenging behaviours of their children with intellectual disabilities.

Why is this study important?

“Being a parent of a child with a developmental disorder has many challenges and associated satisfaction. When that child becomes an adolescent, the challenges can be even greater as the child becomes an autonomous and independent adult”, says Paulina Arango.

This research is expected to provide valuable information to better understand the factors related to the high prevalence of behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.

The project also seeks to shed light on relevant areas for the design of interventions and the development of public policies that favour the quality of life and social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

What does Paulina’s study imply in practice?

The study has two parts. In the first one, 250 parents of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 8 and 17 will participate, who will be asked to answer some questionnaires about their mental health, raising their children, their strengths and difficulties.

In the second part, 25 parents who participated in the first study will be interviewed, with the aim of deepening their experiences and perceptions as parents of a child or adolescent with intellectual disabilities.

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