developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, developmental delay, parenting styles, meta-analysis


Although a large body of literature exists supporting the relationship between positive parenting and child outcomes for typically developing children, there are reasons to analyze separately the relevant literature specific to children with developmental disabilities. However, that literature has not been synthesized in any systematic review. This study examined the association between positive parenting attributes and outcomes of young children with developmental disabilities through meta-analytic aggregation of effect sizes across 14 studies including 576 participants. The random effects weighted average effect size was r = .22 (SE = .06, p < .001), indicative of a moderate association between positive parenting attributes and child outcomes. Publication bias did not appear to be a substantial threat to the results. There was a trend for studies with more mature parents to have effect sizes of higher magnitude than studies with young parents. The results provide support for efforts to evaluate and promote effective parenting skills when providing services for young children with disabilities.

Original Publication Citation

Dyches, T. T., Smith, T. B., Korth, B., Roper, S. O., & Mandleco, B. (2012). Positive parenting of children with developmental disabilities: A meta-analysis. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 2213-2220.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education