Environmental Assessment of Developmentally Disabled Infants and Preschoolers

  • Theodore D. Wachs
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


In recent years there has been an increasing realization that not all of the dysfunctional behavior of the developmentally disabled can be attributed solely to biomedicai factors. Although primary sensory or motor deficits have a biomedicai etiology, many of the cognitive-social-emotional problems of the developmentally disabled, as described in Chapter 1, may have an environmental as well as a biological basis (Green & Durocher, 1965). The relevance of psychosocial environmental factors1 to cognitive, social, or emotional development has been noted for the hearing impaired (Altshuler, 1974; Cheskin, 1981; Galenson, Miller, Kaplan & Rothstein, 1979; Sanders, 1980), the visually impaired (Willis, 1979), the mentally retarded (Poznanski, 1973), and the motorically impaired (Battle, 1977; Cruickshank, Hallahan & Bice, 1976; Lewandowski & Cruickshank, 1980; Shere & Kastenbaum, 1966; also see review in Chapter 1 by Wachs & Sheehan). Particularly for the hearing-impaired and the motorically impaired, most theorists hypothesize an interactive process, in which an initially less responsive handicapped child does not elicit the types of parental interactions necessary for optimal cognitive- social-emotional development (Greenberg & Marvin, 1979; Henggler & Cooper, 1983; Kogan, 1980; Richardson, 1969; Wedell-Monnig & Lumley, 1980).


Environmental Assessment Disable Child Free Play High Risk Infant Mental Deficiency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore D. Wachs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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