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Culture and Retardation : Life Histories of Mildly Mentally Retarded Persons in American Society - L.L. Langness

Culture and Retardation

Life Histories of Mildly Mentally Retarded Persons in American Society

By: L.L. Langness (Editor), Harold G. Levine (Editor)

Hardcover

Published: 31st July 1986
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Mental retardation in the United States is currently defined as " ... signif­ icantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior, and manifested during the development period" (Grossman, 1977). Of the estimated six million plus mentally retarded individuals in this country fully 75 to 85% are considered to be "func­ tionally" retarded (Edgerton, 1984). That is, they are mildly retarded persons with no evident organic etiology or demonstrable brain pathology. Despite the relatively recent addition of adaptive behavior as a factor in the definition of retardation, 1.0. still remains as the essential diagnostic criterion (Edgerton, 1984: 26). An 1.0. below 70 indicates subaverage functioning. However, even such an "objective" measure as 1.0. is prob­ lematic since a variety of data indicate quite clearly that cultural and social factors are at play in decisions about who is to be considered "retarded" (Edgerton, 1968; Kamin, 1974; Langness, 1982). Thus, it has been known for quite some time that there is a close relationship between socio-economic status and the prevalence of mild mental retardation: higher socio-economic groups have fewer mildly retarded persons than lower groups (Hurley, 1969). Similarly, it is clear that ethnic minorities in the United States - Blacks, Mexican-Americans, American Indians, Puerto Ricans, Hawaiians, and others - are disproportionately represented in the retarded population (Mercer, 1968; Ramey et ai., 1978).

`Anyone who appreciates a careful biography that chronicles the individual's transactions with the human environment, shaped by it but also shaping it, will love this book. It portrays eight closely observed persons, and provides two scholarly chapters of integration and interpretation, including the qualities of the no-numeric methodologies employed.' Dr. C. Edward Meyers, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Soutern California `...this text is a must for all who are interested in mental retardation.' Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review (1987)

The Life History Approach to Mental Retardation.- Sarah: The Life Course of a Down's Syndrome Child.- Life History in Progress: A Retarded Daughter Educates Her Mother.- You Are What You Drink: Evidence of Socialized Incompetence in the Life of a Mildly Retarded Adult.- It Wasn't Fair: Six Years in the Life of Larry B.- Living in the Real World: Process and Change in the Life of a Retarded Man.- A Case of Delabeling: Some Practical and Theoretical Implications.- Social Support and Individual Adaptation: A Diachronic Perspective.- Theodore V. Barrett: An Account of Adaptive Competence.- Conclusions: Themes in an Anthropology of Mild Mental Retardation.- List of Contributors.

ISBN: 9789027721778
ISBN-10: 9027721777
Series: Culture, Illness and Healing
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 212
Published: 31st July 1986
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 29.7 x 21.0  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 1.11