Parenting stress in mothers of children with an intellectual disability: the effects of parental cognitions in relation to child characteristics and family support

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Background Recent theories of stress and coping in parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) emphasize the importance of cognitive appraisals in influencing parents' levels of stress and their adaptations to difficulties presented by the children. This study investigated the relationships between parental cognitions, child characteristics, family support and parenting stress. The aspects of cognitions studied were: parenting self-esteem (including efficacy and satisfaction) and parental locus of control. Methods The group studied consisted of 46 mothers of children with ID. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and Maladaptive Behavior Domain were administered by interview. Mothers also completed four questionnaires: the Family Support Scale, the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, a shortened form of the Parental Locus of Control Scale and the Parenting Stress Index (Short Form). Results Data were analysed using Pearson's correlation coefficients, partial correlations and a regression analysis. The results indicated that most of the variance in parenting stress was explained by parental locus of control, parenting satisfaction and child behaviour difficulties. Whilst there was also a strong correlation between family support and parenting stress, this was mediated by parental locus of control. Conclusions The results demonstrate the potential importance of parental cognitions in influencing parental stress levels. It is argued that these results have implications for clinical interventions for promoting parents' coping strategies in managing children with ID and behavioural difficulties.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume49
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • stress, family support, behaviour problems, parenting satisfaction, parental locus of control, intellectual disability