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Culturally Diverse Parents’ Perspectives on Self-Determination

By: Dalun Zhang, Leena Landmark, Cheryl Grenwelge, and Linda Montoya

Abstract: Current research examining self-determination in cultural contexts has yielded mixed findings. This qualitative interview study collected rich information from parents of four major cultures about their understanding of self-determination and their daily engagement in self-determination related activities with their children with disabilities. Various culturally-related patterns were found indicating differences between parents of mainstream culture and other cultures. Differences existed in the following areas: understanding the concept of self-determination; talking to the child about strengths and weaknesses; promoting self-efficacy; and teaching independent living, goal setting, problem solving, and decision making skills. Implications and recommendations for future research are provided.
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