Original Research

Human capabilities of South African parents who have children with developmental disabilities

Lumka Magidigidi, Nicolette V. Roman, Inge K. Sonn
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1155 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1155 | © 2023 Lumka Magidigidi, Nicolette V. Roman, Inge K. Sonn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2022 | Published: 19 June 2023

About the author(s)

Lumka Magidigidi, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Nicolette V. Roman, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Inge K. Sonn, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Parenting a child with a developmental disability (DD) has a substantial influence on the lives of the parents or caregivers, as well as on how the family operates. This is frequently because of the adjustments in some daily practices that are crucial for parents’ or caregivers’ human capabilities to provide for childcare. There is not enough research done on human capabilities of parents or children with DD in South Africa.

Objectives: This study investigated the available support in improving the human capabilities of parents or caregivers with children with DD and the bodily health and bodily integrity human capabilities of parents or caregivers with children with DD.

Method: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 11 parents or caregivers of children aged between 1 and 8 years old with DD. This study used snowball sampling. Thematic data analysis was chosen to analyse the data collected.

Results: The results of the study indicate that participants have difficulties bringing up their children because of the emotional strain that goes along with parenting a child with DD. In addition, participants were not able to afford decent and satisfactory shelter and had limited access to good quality food because they could not afford it.

Conclusion: A lack of social support and care burden influences parents’ or caregivers’ ability to raise their child with developmental disability.

Contribution: The study contains helpful information about families of children with DD in under-resourced locations. The information may be of significance to policymakers who are accountable for designing and executing policies that are targeted at assisting parents or caregivers of children with DD.


Keywords

human capabilities; freedoms; opportunities; developmental disability; parents; children with disabilities; family; capabilities approach; South Africa.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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Crossref Citations

1. Factors inhibiting control over one’s environment: A human capabilities perspective
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