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Représentations sociales et parentalité : les points de vue des parents présentant une déficience ou une lenteur intellectuelle

Élise Milot, Daniel Turcotte, Sylvie Tétreault

The present article describes the results of a Quebec exploratory study dealing with the social representations (SR) of parenthood experienced by people with intellectual disabilities or cognitive difficulties (ID/CD). Nine parents took part in individual semi-standardized interviews. As regards the five interviewees who have maintained guardianship of their children, parenthood symbolizes access to an extremely desirable role, the exercise of which stimulates pride, personal uplift, social recognition and commitment. For those whose parenthood is subject to the foster placement of their children, their arguments are blemished due to their feelings of injustice, of suffering and of demotion. These feelings are indeed made clear in their discussions with the child protection representatives and members of their families. The ideas proposed deal with factors likely to slow down or to encourage the development of a positive parental identity and a sufficient parenthood support network.