Family Stigma and Community Participation of Arab Children and Youth with Disabilities

Shirli Werner*, Doaa Freg, Israa Amer Sarsour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Participation of children and youth (hereinafter, children) with disabilities is a core value of all-inclusive societies, but significant barriers, including stigmatic beliefs and perceptions of disability, limit its attainment. Parental perceptions of their children’s participation and its correlates play a key role in overcoming barriers and promoting increased participation. This study examined the association between family stigma and Arab parents’ perceptions of community participation by their children, and the roles of parents’ own participation and their perceptions of disability in this association. Parents of Arab children with disabilities in Israel (N = 162) completed a questionnaire measuring their perceptions of their child’s community participation (PEM-CY, frequency and involvement), family stigma (FAMSI), perception of disability (Disability Model Endorsement), and parents’ participation (Israeli Assessment of Participation for Adults, frequency and satisfaction). Children’s frequency of participation was low, while involvement level was fair. Social perceptions of disability moderated the negative relationship between family stigma and children’s participation, and parents’ participation mediated this relationship. The findings stress the importance of parents’ perceptions of the role and responsibility of society. Parents who adhere to social perspectives of disability may see it as the responsibility of society to lift barriers and develop services and activities, in which their children can be full and equal participants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3526-3539
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Arab society in Israel
  • Children
  • Participation
  • Perception of disability
  • Stigma


Dive into the research topics of 'Family Stigma and Community Participation of Arab Children and Youth with Disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this