Exploration of the cultural beliefs and practices of Kenyan and Tanzanian mothers relating to Early Years Speech and Language Therapy intervention
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Early Years Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) intervention seeks to advise families on parent-child interaction patterns to promote language development. This advice is based on Western value systems and may be inappropriate for culturally diverse clients. However, there is a paucity of research into the cultural differences which should be considered when attempting to provide an equitable and non-discriminatory service. Aim: To gain insight into the beliefs and practices of Kenyan and Tanzanian mothers surrounding Early Years SLT intervention, specifically regarding child-rearing, parent-child relationships, perception of disability and the clinical context. Methodology: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with two Kenyan and two Tanzanian mothers living in the UK. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to identify themes of relevance. Results: Through analysis of participant transcripts the following themes emerged as areas of cultural difference: perceptions of play; importance of peer relationships; parent-child interaction practices; importance of respect; beliefs concerning children’s ability; attitudes towards disability; and practicalities surrounding the clinical context. Conclusion & Implications: The results suggest that there is a range of cultural differences SLTs should consider when adapting their service for African families in order to reduce the Western culture-bias of their practices. A number of possible therapy modifications are discussed. Further research is required in order to determine whether adapting services for Kenyan and Tanzanian clients in order to account for these cultural differences improves the effectiveness of Early Years SLT intervention.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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