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Boletim - Academia Paulista de Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1415-711X


PORTES, João Rodrigo Maciel et al. The child with Down syndrome: risk and protective factors from the perspective of the Bioecological Theory of Human Development. Bol. - Acad. Paul. Psicol. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.85, pp. 446-464. ISSN 1415-711X.

The birth of a child requires a rearrangement of roles in the family. However, if this birth is marked by the arrival of a child with a disability, it may cause instability in the family, due to the break of parental expectations about an ideal baby. The present article aims at presenting a review of research findings and discussing them in order to promote a reflection on the characteristics of Down syndrome (DS) and its impact on child development and family, focusing on the risk and protection factors that affect this population's health. The Bioecological theory of Human Development, which establishes inter - relationship of individual and environmental factors, has been used as theoretical framework for the discussions of the results.From this theory, the Birth of a child with Down syndrome requires an adaptation of the family context, since children with DS are exposed to environmental factors that may influence their development. Nevertheless, scientific literature points out to the advances of knowledge in the area, and it identifies risk and protective factors that can work for the development of children with DS. In conclusion, the risk and protection factors potentially of children with DS are very similar to the children without disabilities. An important emphasis should be placed on factors of the macrosystem for the population with disabilities, more specifically for people with DS, as the advancement of knowledge about this syndrome and the development of specific public policies can increase life quality and expectancy.

Keywords : Down Syndrome; Human Development; risk and protective factors; child; family.

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