Hopelessness of Mothers Who Have Children with Down Syndrome

By Yildirim, A.; Yildirim, M. S. | Genetic Counseling, October 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Hopelessness of Mothers Who Have Children with Down Syndrome


Yildirim, A., Yildirim, M. S., Genetic Counseling


Summary: Hopelessness of mothers who have children with Down syndrome: This study was conducted to determine hopelessness status of mothers who have children with Down syndrome. Beck Hopelessness Scale was used in this restrictive type study. The average value of mothers enrolled in the study was detected as 8.29 ± 2.49. Age, education level, socio-economical status, work and the problems between parents were also examined and it was found that there is a relationship between the education level, socio-economical status, the problems between parents and the hopelessness scale (p0.01).

Consequently, it is apparent that the mothers who have children with Down syndrome need social and psychological support to overcome their feelings of hopelessness.

Key-words: Down syndrome - Hopelessness - Mothers.

INTRODUCTION

Down syndrome is a condition characterized by an additional chromosome 21 which is related with typical face and mental disorders. Children with Down syndrome present growth retardation and intellectual disability, with learning difficulties and difficulties in problem solving and deciding. Their intelligence level is lower than normal and they learn slower (12). More than a hundred clinical findings as well as medical, physical and psychological features have been described in patients with Down syndrome up to now. Among them, especially cardiologie and gastrointestinal findings are the most frequently observed ones. The risk of leukemia is higher than the normal population (4). In addition, there may be behavioral disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders (3).

Down syndrome is not a rare condition. It is observed in one of every 700 live births. Considering the families, the problem affects a big population. The diagnosis of Down syndrome creates a quite traumatic status for the families. The child with Down syndrome puts new burdens on financial, educational, familial and social relations of the family (13).

Mothers of children with Down syndrome face various problems while raising their children. This situation exposes mothers to intensive stress and emotional problems such as shock, denial, anger, guilt, anxiety, unexpected crisis, avoidance of facing external world's attitude, disappointment, decrease in self respect and self confidence (7, 14).

Beck Hopelessness Scale is a self-evaluation type scale which consists of 20 articles and is used in the study called "Measurement of Jaundince", developed by Beck et al. (1). The evaluation criteria are given points between 1 and 20. When the sum of point's increases, the level of hopelessness also increases.

This study was conducted by using Beck Hopelessness Scale to determine hopelessness status of mothers who have children with Down syndrome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The study group of this restrictive type research consisted of mothers of children with Down syndrome who were diagnosed in the Genetic Department of Selcuk University, Meram Medical Faculty.

An interview was made with 69 mothers who had children with Down syndrome, willing to communicate and participate.

Data were collected with face to face interview technique by researchers. Beck Hopelessness Scale was used to detect the hopelessness level. The mothers were also questioned for their social status, ages, occupation, educational level, economical income level and, whether a problem was present between parents and the effects of these to their hopelessness level were statistically evaluated.

The t-test and One- Way ANOVA test were used for statistical analysis of the obtained data. P<0.01 was considered as significant.

RESULTS

The average age of mothers enrolled in the study was 35.81 ± 6.89 years. The educational level was elementary school in 63.8 % and high school and higher in 36.2 %. It was observed that 29 % of them work and 71 % were housewives. …

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