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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Research published over the past two decades has underscored the power of positivity, whether in the form of positive perceptions, optimism, positive coping, or even positive illusions. Such positive perspectives have been shown to be powerful influences on child rearing. This chapter focuses on family perspectives of disability, with an emphasis on the positive impact of raising such a child. The chapter presents the conceptual underpinning for studying positive impact, including related constructs such as optimism, as well as methodological considerations for understanding its interpretation, including three views of positive impact: (1) the low negative view, (2) the common benefits view, and (3) the special benefits view. In addition, findings are presented from a longitudinal study of parents of children with and without intellectual disability that support a theory of positivity as a key underpinning of resilience. The chapter also considers the application of this conceptualization of positive impact across cultures and disability types.

Keywords: parenting, positive impact, positive emotions, optimism, positivity

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