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20-07-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2018 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2018

Maternal Stress and the Functions of Positivity in Mothers of Children with Intellectual Disability

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2018
Auteurs:
Mikeda Jess, Vasiliki Totsika, Richard P Hastings

Abstract

Although mothers raising children with Intellectual Disability (ID) report poorer mental health than parents raising typically developing children, they also report feelings of positivity; both generally and specific to their child. To date little is known about the function of maternal positivity thus, we explored the putative compensatory and protective functions of maternal positivity, within both a cross-sectional and one-year longitudinal framework that examined the relationship between children’s behaviour and mental health problems with maternal mental health problems. Participants included 135 mothers of children with severe ID who were between 3 and 18 years of age. Multiple linear regression models investigated the potential function of maternal positivity. At a cross-sectional level, maternal positivity was found to be a significant independent predictor of maternal stress and moderated the impact of child behaviour problems on maternal parenting stress. Longitudinally, maternal positivity did not have a direct effect on later parenting stress nor function as a moderator. Findings from our cross-sectional analysis are consistent with the view that positivity serves a compensatory function. Further exploration is needed to understand the longitudinal function of maternal positivity.

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