Neighbourhood support to families with a disabled child: Observations on a coping strategy of caregivers in a Jamaican community-based rehabilitation programme

R. Bischoff, M. J. Thorburn, P. Reitmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


In Jamaica, a low degree of practical helpfulness of neighbours of families with a disabled child has been described. This seems to cast doubt on the World Health Organization's concept of community-based rehabilitation which simply assumes that the community is a source of support. Our study tries to elucidate which reasons, in a Jamaican socio-cultural setting, make neighbours give support to or withhold it from disabled children and their caregivers. A concept of neighbourhood help is identified, according to which help is something to be asked for and provided under exceptional circumstances only. Caregivers claim to give and receive support in child rearing within the limits of this definition, generally irrespective of the presence of a disability. The impression that neighbours are unconcerned can arise when the support needed becomes too extensive to fit into the local definition of neighbourhood help - which is more likely in the case of disabled children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996



  • Attitudes to disability
  • Community-based rehabilitation
  • Disabled children
  • Neighbourhood support
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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