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Children's health and developmental delay: positive functioning in every-day life
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis was to gain understanding of what patterns of child and environment characteristics that promote and sustain health and positive functioning of children with and without developmental delay or disabilities. The focus was on promotion of strengths and competencies rather than on prevention of risk factors, with an emphasis on children’s functioning in every-day life. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies were conducted on representative samples of children. In Study I, participation in school activities were used as an outcome of positive functioning of children with disabilities. The findings indicated that autonomy, locus of control, child-peer interaction, and availability of activities were most influential in relation to participation in a pattern of child and environment factors. No significant difference was found across groups in type and degree of disability. Study II was conducted to gain knowledge of how young children perceive health. The interviews revealed that children perceived health in a multidimensional perspective, well represented by the health dimensions of ICF. The children largely related consequences of health to engagement. In Study III, engagement was used as an outcome of children’s interaction with their natural environment. The focus was to describe how children with and without developmental delay, divided into homogenous groups according to a pattern of child-environment interaction factors, engaged in developmentally appropriate behavior in their preschool and home environment. Groups of children with different patterns showed similar outcomes of engagement. Children with developmental delay were represented across groups, implying that developmental delay was less of a factor by itself influencing level of engagement. Study IV was longitudinal and the aim was to identify pathways of children’s engagement over time of children with and without developmental delay. Child-peer interaction seemed to promote high level engagement, while developmental delay only showed to be influential of low level engagement over time if combined with behavior problems. Children without developmental delay or behavior problems were met with greater teacher responsiveness, and at the same time teacher responsiveness predicted stable patterns of high level engagement or change to higher level engagement over time. The general finding in this thesis supported a both a multidimensional perspective of health and positive functioning, in where developmental delay and disability is viewed as a function of child and environmental characteristics. The results are discussed in a systemic perspective, in where the role of the delay or disability, as of other factors related to health and positive functioning in the whole child-environment system is determined by a multitude of factors. The dynamic character of children’s development makes it difficult to predict children’s future functioning, from isolated factors such as disability or developmental delay. Thus, a disability or developmental delay only becomes a risk factor of health, when combined with other risk factors that decrease the functioning of children in their every-day life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek , 2006. , 122 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 8
Keyword [en]
health, positive functioning, participation, engagement, children, developmental delay, disabilities
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-586ISBN: 91-7668-496-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-586DiVA: diva2:136985
Public defence
2006-09-15, Omega, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-08-25 Created: 2006-08-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Participation in school environment of children and youth with disabilities: a person-oriented approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Participation in school environment of children and youth with disabilities: a person-oriented approach
2005 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 46, no 3, 305-314 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated patterns of interrelated positive subject and environmental factors related to participation in school activities of pupils with different kinds of disabilities. Questionnaires concerning participation were collected from 472 pupils with disabilities and their teachers, parents and special education consultants. A person-oriented approach with the aim to identify patterns of variables related to a high degree of participation of pupils with disabilities was used. Cluster-groups were formed based on scores for individual subjects on factors identified as important for participation. Groups with a high degree of participation were characterized by high scores in autonomy and perceived interaction with peers and teachers and an internal locus of control. Type and degree of disability did not predict cluster group membership. A conclusion is that the outcome participation is better predicted by patterns of interrelated positive subject and environmental factors than by type of disability or any other single factor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell, 2005
National Category
Social Sciences Social Work Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3103 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2005.00460.x (DOI)
Available from: 2006-08-25 Created: 2006-08-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved
2. 'I can play!': Young children's perceptions of health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'I can play!': Young children's perceptions of health
2006 (English)In: Pediatric Rehabilitation, ISSN 1363-8491, E-ISSN 1464-5270, Vol. 9, no 3, 275-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Health is today viewed as a multi-dimensional concept partly conceptualized independent from not being ill. The aim of this study was to gain knowledge of how young children perceive health. Interviews were conducted with 68 children (4–5 years), within their pre-school setting, with the help of a semi-structured interview guide. A multi-dimensional perspective represented by the health dimensions of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was used in a manifest deductive content analysis. The children's statements were categorized and placed under one of the four health dimensions, body, activity, participation and environment. A latent content analysis was applied to identify underlying themes in the manifest categories. The results revealed that young children perceive health as a multi-dimensional construct, largely related to being engaged, i.e. to be able to perform wanted activities and participate in a supportive every-day context. This implies that improvements of child engagement should be emphasized in health promotion and to a greater extent be the central focus of health interventions for young children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Taylor & Francis, 2006
National Category
Social Sciences Social Work Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3104 (URN)10.1080/13638490500521303 (DOI)
Available from: 2006-08-25 Created: 2006-08-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved
3. Patterns of engagement in young children with and without developmental delay
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Patterns of engagement in young children with and without developmental delay
2006 (English)In: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, ISSN 1741-1122, E-ISSN 1741-1130, Vol. 3, no 1, 65-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of process characteristics capturing the essence of children's experiences in their natural environment and their possible association with health and well-being operationalized as engagement for young children with and without developmental delay. Data were gathered from 1035 children between 1 and 3 years in community-based preschools. Teachers and parents responded to questionnaires concerning interaction, activity, and engagement, as well as demographic and biopsychosocial information. A cluster analysis was conducted to find homogenous patterns related to engagement. Five distinct patterns were identified, all related to different levels of engagement. Several factors, within both the child and the environment, were associated with high levels of engagement. Interaction skills and availability of activities appear to be strong predictors of high-level engagement, regardless whether or not the child has been identified as developmentally delayed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malden, MA: Blackwel, 2006
National Category
Social Sciences Social Work Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3105 (URN)10.1111/j.1741-1130.2006.00054.x (DOI)
Available from: 2006-08-25 Created: 2006-08-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved
4. Pathways of engagement for young children with and without developmental delay
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pathways of engagement for young children with and without developmental delay
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3106 (URN)
Available from: 2006-08-25 Created: 2006-08-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved

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