Perceived Parental Stress: The Relative Contributions of Child and Parent Characteristics
Karen Auyeung, Julie Burbidge, Patricia Minnes
Normative demands often associated with raising a child can be intensified for parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID). The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of stress reported by parents of individuals with ID in two age groups: high school students and adults. We also investigated this issue with respect to the type of disability experienced (i.e., Down syndrome or ID due to an unknown cause). One hungred and five parents completed the Family Stress and Coping Interview IFSCI) which provides a profile of stressful issues related to caring for a person with ID. Significant differences were found in indvidual issues reported by parents across age groups and type of disability. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Stress in Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities over Time
Anne M. Ritzema, Ingrid E. Sladeczek
Stress levels of parents whose children have developmental disabilities (DD) are significantly higher than those of parents with typically developing children. However, few studies have looked at the effects of child characteristics on parent stress over time. The aim of the present study is to assess whether changes in child behaviour problems or adaptive functioning affect parent stress. Using data from the National Early Intervention Research Initiative, predictors and correlates of stress were examined in parents of children with developmental disabilities who attend early intervention (EI) program (n=21). Families participated in two rounds of data collection, approximately two and a half years apart. At Time 1 child behaviour problems significantly predicted parent stress (β = .71, t(53) = 7.47, p<.0001). Between Time 1 and Time 2 child behaviour problems decreased significantly (t(19) = 2.13, p<.05), as did parent stress (t(19) = 3.58, p=.002). At Time 2, child behaviour problems were significantly related with parent stress (r(19) - .74, p<.0001), and so was child adaptive functioning (r(19) = -.53, p<.05), although adaptive function did not change significantly between Time 1 and Time 2. The results are discussed in the context of current EI practice and policy in Canada.
Perspectives of Support Workers on Supporting Persons with intellectual Disability and Pica
Melody Ashworth and Lynn Martin
The purpose of this paper was to determine the support needs of adults with intellectual disability (ID) and pica (the ingestion of inedibles). Through two focus groups, the perspectives of staff from institutional and community settings in Ontario were examined. Qualitative data revealed that three categories of intervention underpinned reduction in pica (i.e., preventative measures, formal supports and familiarity with the individual), and that staff in both settings tended to be isolated in managing this complex behaviour. Further, inadequate resources, the lower functioning level of the individual, and lack of knowledge acted as barriers to implementing strategies to reduce the impact of pica on the person's life. This study provides important information on the barriers and successes experienced by support workers, and the service needs and recommendations for additional services for adults with ID and pica.