Psychological well-being in parents of children with Angelman, Cornelia de Lange and Cri du Chat syndromes.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Gemma Griffith
  • RP Hastings
  • P Howlin
  • Penelope Tunnicliffe

Colleges, School and Institutes


Background  The current study focuses on mothers and fathers of children with three rare genetic syndromes that are relatively unexplored in terms of family experience: Angelman syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Cri du Chat syndrome. Method  Parents of children with Angelman syndrome (n = 15), Cornelia de Lange syndrome (n = 16) and Cri du Chat syndrome (n = 18), and a matched comparison group of parents of children with autism and intellectual disabilities (n = 20) completed questionnaires on both psychological distress (stress, anxiety, depression) and positive psychological functioning. Results  Parents of children with Angelman syndrome consistently reported the highest levels of psychological distress, and parents of children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome the lowest, with parents of children with Cri du Chat syndrome and autism scoring between these two. Positive psychological functioning was similar across the four aetiology groups. Conclusions  Parents of children with rare genetic syndromes are at risk for high levels of stress and mental health problems. Methodological issues and the practical applications of these results are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

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