Abstract

The child’s development and the parent–child relationship reflect two interdependent processes. Several factors influence the occupational behavior of the child and the adult. In this paper, the ways in which occupational therapists can influence both the child and the parent–child relationship are identified. The parents’ occupational behavior is influenced by their knowledge of their children and their attitudes regarding the parenting role. The occupational therapist is part of the social support system and can work with the parents to enlarge their feelings of social embeddedness and support. In addition, the occupational therapist can influence the parent–child relationship by fostering the child’s development and helping the parents learn techniques to deal with their child’s undesirable characteristics, such as excessive irritability. Knowledge of the different avenues of influence helps the occupational therapist in planning and evaluating treatment in early intervention.

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