The Role of Maternal Depression in Accessing Early Intervention Services for Children with Developmental Delay Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Colgan, Siobhan Eileen
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This study investigated the relationship between maternal depression and children's access to early intervention services among a sample of children with developmental delay at age two who were determined to be eligible for early intervention services, were full term and of normal birth weight, and were not previously identified with any special needs in infancy (n=600). The investigation utilized data collected as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth cohort (ECLS-B). Children were determined to be eligible for early intervention services based on: the child's degree of delay on a standardized measure administered by ECLS-B at age two; the state the child lived in; and the criteria for eligibility for early intervention in the child's state. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses examined 1) the proportion of sample children's mothers who reported that their child had a disability or special need, 2) the association of identification of special needs and maternal depression, and 3) the relationship between maternal depression and the child's receipt of early intervention services. Results showed that 11.3% of mothers reported being told that their child had any special need or condition. Logistic regression analysis found that mothers with depression were significantly more likely than those without depression to report that their child had a disability (adjusted OR=1.75 [95% confidence interval CI 1.65-1.83]). The final analysis investigated receipt of early intervention services, and found that 5.9% of the sample received any early intervention services. Adjusted logistic regression results showed maternal depression was associated with a slightly increased probability of acquiring early intervention services (adjusted OR=1.14 [95% confidence interval CI 1.07-1.20]). In both logistic regression analyses, odds ratios were adjusted for child's race/ethnicity, SES quintiles, mother's partnered status, the child's mean developmental t-score, maternal age, and the number of well-child visits. While maternal depression was associated with both increased identification of the child's special need(s) and increased access to child intervention services, results from the investigation demonstrate an overall pattern of young children with developmental delays being overwhelmingly under-identified by parents and physicians, and under-served in the early intervention system.
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  • In Copyright
  • Daniels, Julie
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2012

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