Association between the diagnosis of mental retardation and socioeconomic factors

Michelle Slone, Kevin Durrheim, Peter Lachman, Debra Kaminer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Clinic data from the regional hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, over 4 years for 538 children with a diagnosis of mental retardation were examined in order to establish whether differences in mental retardation referral patterns existed between low and high socioeconomic areas. Results indicate that mild mental retardation referrals were underrepresented in low socioeconomic areas and that paramedical agencies were the primary referral source in these areas. Differences in mild mental retardation referral patterns by area over time may stem from service difficulties or variations in referral thresholds. Cross-cultural implications of the findings were discussed with relevance to the development of culturally sensitive community-based intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-546
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • General Health Professions


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