Parental Perceptions: Depression and Hardiness in Families Raising a Child with a Disability
Repository Posting Date2013-10-22T20:38:03Z
Author(s)Mandleco, Barbara L.; Freeborn, Donna; Olsen Roper, Susanne; Dyches, Tina; McOmber, Shannon
Author DetailsBarbara L. Mandleco, PhD, RN; Donna Freeborn, APRN, PhD; Susanne Olsen Roper, PhD; Tina Dyches, PhD; Shannon McOmber, BS
Lead Author Sigma AffliationIota Iota-at-Large
Session presented on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013: Purpose: We examined perceptions of depression and hardiness in parents raising a child with disabilities (CWD) or a typically developing child to determine if (a) differences exist in variables according to parent gender and type of disability, and (b) relationships exist between variables. Methods: 166 pairs of parents raising children with autism, Down syndrome, multiple disabilities, other disabilities, or typically developing children completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale and the Family Hardiness Index. Descriptive statistics, ANOVAs, correlations, and regressions were calculated. Results: ANOVAs for depression found significant differences by disability (F=2.598, p=.038) and parent gender (F=10.297, p=.002), but no significant disability x gender interaction. Parents of children with autism had significantly higher levels of depression than parents of typically developing children. Mothers had higher levels of depression than fathers. There were no significant differences in hardiness by parent gender. There was a significant difference by disability (F=3.722, p=.006), but no significant disability x gender interaction. Parents of typically developing children had significantly higher levels of hardiness than parents of children with autism and parents of children with other disabilities. Parents of children with other disabilities had significantly higher levels of hardiness than parents of children with autism. Hardiness and depression were negatively correlated for both mothers and fathers. After controlling for type of disability, number of children in the family, income, caregiver burden, and age and gender of the CWD, higher levels of hardiness continued to predict lower depression for mothers and fathers. Conclusion: Nurses should provide interventions assisting mothers of children with disabilities and parents of children with autism cope with depression. It is also critical to provide interventions to increase hardiness in parents raising children with autism or other disabilities. Helping parents raising a CWD increase in hardiness may also decrease their depression.