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Parents’ Goals for Adolescents Diagnosed with Developmental Delays in Early Childhood

Parents’ Goals for Adolescents Diagnosed with Developmental Delays in Early Childhood


Parents’ developmental goals for their children were investigated in a 12-year study of middle-class European American families of children diagnosed with an early developmental delay of unknown etiology. The relation of parents’ developmental goals for children at child age 13 and child characteristics at ages 3, 7, and 11 were examined. Results showed that parents’ developmental goals at adolescence were associated with a range of child characteristics. Early child characteristics also were stronger predictors of parents’ goals at adolescence than parents’ goals for children at earlier ages. These findings indicated that parents adjust their goals over time in response to children’s functioning and abilities. Findings from this study could contribute to early intervention efforts by helping practitioners anticipate parents’ goals for their adolescent children based on children’s functioning at earlier ages.
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