Macharey, Georg; Suchodoletz, Waldemar von
Perceived Stigmatization of Children with Speech-Language Impairment and Their Parents.
In: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, Nr. 5: S. 256-263
Objective: Developmental disorders in childhood are generally assumed to have stigmatizing effects. The goal of the present study was to assess whether parents of children with speech-language impairment perceive stigmatization of their child or themselves and which variables influence the degree of negative labeling. Subjects and Methods: The study was based on 362 questionnaires completed by parents of children with speech-language impairment. The questionnaires concerned perceived stigmatization by other children, other adults and family members as a result of the child's developmental problems. Results: In our sample, about 50% of the parents reported negative labeling of their child and about 30% felt they were involved in the stigmatizing process. Parents whose children also had behavioral problems more often reported negative labeling than parents whose children did not. Conclusion: The findings suggest that parents of children with speech-language disorders often perceive stigmatization of their children or themselves. In counseling such families, professionals should therefore address stigmatization and its consequences as a separate and important issue. Copyright (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel