Asian Parents' Perceptions of Child Disability and School Contact for Services
Gottfredson, Gary D.
This study examined Asian parents' perceptions of children's disability and factors influencing their utilization of school services. Using the parent questionnaires from a large national sample of high school sophomores (the ELS:2002 data), survey results from Asian American (n=810) and European American parents (n=7710) were analyzed to examine cultural differences between the two ethnic groups as well as between immigrant vs. non-immigrant Asians. This study also assessed the extent to which parental characteristics (Belief About Learning, Recency of Immigration, English Proficiency, Socio-Economic Status, and whether they indicate their child is disabled) predict contacting the school for services. Results indicated that Asians were less likely than Europeans to believe that their child has a disability and also were less likely to contact the school for help. Nevertheless, immigrant parents sought help when they perceived that their child had a disability. Neither immigrant parent's length of stay in the U.S. nor English proficiency predicted the school contact behaviors. Implications for introducing school-based services and outreach for Asian American parents are suggested, particularly for recent immigrants.