An investigation of ecocultural influences on sustained engagement: insights from parents in rural North Carolina who have infants and toddlers with disabilities

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Katrina P. Cummings (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Belinda Hardin

Abstract: Understanding the contexts in which children develop, including distal ecological factors, proximal family influences, and various cultural factors is essential for promoting positive outcomes for young children with disabilities or developmental delays. However, little is known about the everyday experiences and engagement patterns of families from rural communities who have infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays. This study was used to investigate the perspectives of 17 parents across four rural counties in North Carolina was investigated concerning ecocultural factors that enhanced or prevented sustained engagement with their infants and toddlers with disabilities. A concurrent transformative mixed methods design guided data collection and analysis. Data were collected by means of focus groups, surveys, field notes, and demographic forms. Constant comparison analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Descriptive statistics were obtained from surveys and demographic forms. Results indicate that parents primarily perceive ecocultural features as having either a positive influence or no influence on their engagement with their children. Results also indicate that parents actively make accommodations to interrupt potential barriers to engagement and also use positive aspects within their communities to facilitate engagement. These findings contribute to research and practice in the field of early intervention by drawing attention to the adaptive capacities of families in rural communities who have children with disabilities and delineating community resources that could inform the types of interventions that these families are likely to sustain.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Disability, Early intervention, Ecocultural influence, Parental engagement, Sustainability
Children with disabilities $x Development $z North Carolina
Developmentally disabled children $x Development $z North Carolina
Parents of children with disabilities $z North Carolina
Parents of developmentally disabled children $z North Carolina
Rural families $z North Carolina

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