Parental support for children and adolescents with a physical impairment in northern Tanzania
Loenen, S. van
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The Liliane Foundation emphasizes the importance of parental support for children with impairments in underdeveloped countries. The aim of this study was to describe to which extent children and adolescents from 9 to 21 years old with a physical impairment in northern Tanzania received social support from their parents. Additionally, factors from parents’ social environment that influenced the provided support were investigated. Data was collected through 36 semi-structured face-to-face interviews with children and their parents and twelve interviews with local staff members. For additional information open observations and informal talks were included. The discussed topics were based on the Network of Relationship Inventory (NRI; Furman & Buhrmester, 1985). The results showed that children received parental support to some degree. The types of support that were mentioned most, were material and emotional support. Furthermore, the factors from parents’ social environment that influenced the provision of support were: information provision, poverty, lack of time, beliefs and culture, of which culture resulted to be of most influence. Many challenges are faced when it comes to the provision of parental support to physically impaired children in northern Tanzania. To reduce the negative effects of social environment, and to ensure improvements in parental support, recommendations are presented.