Parental Attitude in Families with a Special Child



The methodological foundations of the polysubject approach to the consideration of the parental position in the family with a special child are presented. Adaptation mechanisms of such families are considered in the context of the concept of "reflected subjectivity". It is shown that the identity of parents raising children with developmental disabilities and their relationship to the child are influenced under the influence of the reflected subject (special child and professional) and the reflected object (the diagnosis of the child).The results of two empirical studies devoted to the study of the parental position depending on the parent's acceptance of the child, the relationship of the parent with the professionals and the parent's perception of the diagnosis of the child are presented. There are four types of parental position, including "partnership" and "failure" and a tool is proposed that measures the severity of each type. The results of psychometric verification of the technique, which indicate its reliability, are described. The proposed methodology will be useful in developing intervention programs for families with special children.

General Information

Keywords: family, mental retardation, destructive, adaptive, transcendent activity, reflected subjectivity, parental attitude towards the child, attitude with professionals, attitude towards the diagnosis

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Galasyuk I.N., Mitina O.V. Parental Attitude in Families with a Special Child. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2018. Vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 102–111. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2018230410.

A Part of Article

Current research on families with special children considers such families as rehabilitation institutions, which ensures the most comfortable environments for the raising and development of children. Assistance to the family members is aimed at teaching them, especially the mother, how to communicate with the disabled child in a way that will help to develop certain social skills.


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Information About the Authors

Irina N. Galasyuk, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professior, Department of Neuro and Pathopsychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Mitina, PhD in Psychology, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Communication Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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