In this study the authors explored maternal perceptions of life with Down Syndrome (DS) in Korea. Written responses to open-ended questions were collected as a part of a larger study and examined using content analysis. Most mothers commonly reported responses toward children with DS at both the societal and community level were negative. Many mothers acknowledged that even though there are ongoing challenges associated with being the mother of a child with DS, they have experienced unexpected joys as well. Increased awareness of cultural differences in beliefs and attitudes about children with DS and their care will help health care professionals develop culturally appropriate interventions.


Culture, Down Syndrome, Koreans, Mothers, Social Values

Author Bio(s)

Hyunkyung Choi, PhD, RN, WHNP, is Assistant Professor with the College of Nursing at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Hyunkyung Choi at, 680 Gukchabosangro, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea, 41944: Phone: 82-53-200-4791; Fax: 82-53-421-2758; Email: hchoi@knu.ac.kr.

Marcia Van Riper, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair of the Family Health Division in the School of Nursing at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


We would like to thank all Korean families caring for a child with Down syndrome who participated in this study.

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