Fathers and mothers of school-age children with developmental disabilities: parental stress, family functioning, and social support

L L Dyson
American Journal of Mental Retardation: AJMR 1997, 102 (3): 267-79
Thirty pairs of fathers and mothers who had school-age children with mental retardation and other disabilities were compared with each other and with 32 father and mother pairs of parents of children without disabilities. Responses to family scales indicated that fathers and mothers of children with developmental disabilities did not differ from each other nor from fathers and mothers of children without disabilities in parental stress, family social support, or family functioning. However, parents of children with disabilities experienced a disproportionately greater level of stress relating to their children than did those of children without disabilities. Fathers' and mothers' stress was associated with aspects of family functioning as perceived by themselves and their spouses.

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