Purpose The current study examined mothers' knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and intention to socially integrate children with Down syndrome (DS) in the family, with children without disabilities and school system. Design and Methods A questionnaire based on a descriptive, cross-sectional design was administered to Jewish and Muslim mothers. The questionnaire included demographics, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and intention to integrate children with DS. Analysis included a regression test of intention to integrate children with DS and a one-way ANOVA for differences between Jewish and Muslim mothers. Results Nearly all the Jewish mothers (93.7%) and about half the Muslim mothers (52.8%) had performed screening tests for DS during their pregnancy. All mothers displayed low knowledge level about DS. Being Jewish (t = 2.89; p = 0.005) and holding more positive beliefs (t = 3.39; p = 0.001) were associated with a higher intention to socially integrate children with DS. Significant positive correlations were found between beliefs and attitudes (r = 0.65; p < 0.001) and between attitudes and intention to socially integrate children with DS (r = 0.39; p < 0.001). Conclusions This study shows that Jewish and Muslim mothers' beliefs and attitudes towards social inclusion of children with DS are quite positive and the intention to integrate children with DS in the family, with children without disabilities, and in the mainstream school system is high. However, their level of knowledge about DS is low. Practice Implications Nurses, as a critical source of information about DS, should develop an ethno-cultural sensitivity to diverse populations in order to influence attitudes and beliefs regarding the social integration of children with DS.
- Behavioral intentions
- Down syndrome
- Social inclusion
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes