VIDEO: Influence of parental styles in children with intellectual disabilities

Ilustración que muestra a un papá ayudando a leer a una niña y un niño.

Did you know that parental styles can influence the level of autonomy that children with intellectual disabilities can reach in adulthood? More details in this article.

By Natalia Correa.

Illustrated video that explains the effects of parental styles on children with intellectual disabilities. Realization: Bonsail Films

In children with intellectual disabilities, the parental style determines such important aspects of their lives as autonomy and self-determination.

In 2021, our associate researcher Paulina Arango with a team from Universidad de Los Andes conducted a study with 83 Chilean families who provided information on how they were raising their children with intellectual disabilities from the ages of 4 to 18.

The results showed that, compared to mothers, fathers of children with intellectual disabilities set fewer rules and limits, receive more social support in parenting and are less involved in their children’s lives.

Children with more involved fathers presented better adaptive behaviours in the social and practical areas, like making the bed, preparing food, or using public transportation by themselves.

In addition, the study confirmed that the relationship of mothers and fathers with their children with intellectual disabilities is the best predictor of adaptive behaviour, which will impact the quality of life of the child in their adulthood.

It is essential to work for assertive and positive parental styles and practices so that children with intellectual disabilities have an adult life with more autonomy and self-determination.