Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Factors Affecting Resiliency in Mothers of Children with and without Intellectual Disability*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Factors Affecting Resiliency in Mothers of Children with and without Intellectual Disability*

Article excerpt

Abstract

In this study, the effect of quantity and quality of social support and problem-focused copmq style on mothers -esilience was examined by conductmq a structural equation modelinq. The sample of the research consistec of 257 mothers of children with intellectual disability, and 234 mothers of typically-developing children. The data were qathered throuqh the Mother Resiliency Scale, the Copmq Style Scale, and the Revised Parental Social Support Scale. Path analysis with latent variables was conducted to mvestiqate the relationship betweer the constructs after testmq the measurement models. Both qroups of mothers confirmed the model showing that quantity and quality of the social support affected the problem-focused copmq in a positive and moderate way and affects the resiliency in a low but positive direction. Also, the problem-focused copmq style influencec -esiliency in a hiqh and positive way.

Key Words

Intellectual Disability, Resiliency, Quantitative and Qualitative Social Support, Problem-Focused Copmq Style Dath Analysis.

The birth of a child leads to many expectations for the parents (Kagitçibasi, 1980). However, when the child is born with a disability, all the expectations fall down and it becomes difficult for the parents to cope with this new situation (Seligman & Darling, 1989). The parents of children with disabilities confront with many difficulties caused by the disability in addition to the stress all parents have. The main responsibility to raise a child belongs to the mother in many societies. Therefore, mothers' burden increases (Kaner, 2004), and in the case of a child with disability, their caring burden becomes heavier (Kazak, 1987; Kazak & Marvin 1984).

While there are many studies claiming the mothers of children with disabilities face more difficulties and stress in comparison to the mothers of typically-developing children (Britner, Morog, Pianta, & Marvin, 2003; Hadadian, 1994; Seltzer, Hoyd, Greenberg, & Hong, 2004), there are also several studies showing that there are not significant differences between these two groups of mothers in terms of stress, anxiety, depression or burn out (Abbott & Meredith, 1986; Dyson, 1993; Skok, Harvey, & Reddihough, 2006; Van Riper, Ryff, & Priadham, 1992).

Parents of children with disabilities need to adapt and provide a balance between needs and resources (Kaner, 2009). Research findings demonstrate that despite all the adversities, the mothers of children with disabilities overcome the difficulties, maintain family functions successfully, and achieve a new balance; in other words they have resiliency (Patterson, 2002). Resiliency refers to an active process providing rebound from adversity more strengthened, leading to endurance and growth in response to crisis (Walsh, 2006). According to Masten (1994) resilience is successful adaptation in spite of the risks and adversities.

Definitions of resilience reveal two elements of resilience: the first is to exposure threat or adversity and the second is standing on and adapting in spite of the threat or adversity (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000). Protective factors are essential to decrease or remove negative effects of risk factors (Greene & Conrad, 2002). Studies about resilient mothers of children with disabilities demonstrate that coping strategies and social support are two of important protective factors (Bauman, 2004; Gardner & Harmon, 2002; Greeff, Vansteenwengen, & Ide, 2006; Heiman, 2002; Lee et al., 2004; Patterson, 1991).

Lazarus and Folkman (1984, p. 141) describe coping as "constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person". There are two styles of coping which are emotion-focused coping and problem-focused coping. Emotion-focused coping refers to appraisals that the threat-ful situations cannot be changed and manages the negative emotions caused by the stressful situation. …

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