Negative and positive disability-related events and adjustment of parents with acquired physical disabilities and of their adolescent children

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Abstract

This study merged stress-and-coping research with the social model of disability to describe the most frequently experienced disability-related events experienced by 19 parents with acquired physical disabilities and their adolescent children, and examined the relations between these events, severity of disability, and psychological adjustment. Parents and adolescents reported many more positive than negative disability-related events, although parents reported significantly more negative events than did their children. Frequency of parents' experienced negative disability-related events correlated significantly with self-reported anxiety, depression, and weaker feelings of parental self-efficacy, with their reports of adolescents' internalizing and externalizing problems, and with adolescents' self-reports of depression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem. Frequency of adolescents' negative disability-related events correlated significantly with self-reported depression and lower self-esteem, and approached significance with self-reported anxiety. There were no significant associations between parents' positive events and self-reported or adolescent adjustment. Total frequency of adolescents' positive events correlated significantly with less parent-reported anxiety. There were several significant associations between parental rating of severity of disability and number of physical limitations with their and their children's adjustment. Implications for understanding the daily effects of parental physical disability on parents and their adolescent children are discussed, and recommendations are suggested for prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-537
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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