Stress in Families of Children with Disabilities
Background: The institution of family is considered essential for the existence of society. Family serves as a shock absorber in times of crisis and stress. Having a child with disability in a family is not the same as having a child without a disability. This study intends to portray the characteristics of families with children with mental retardation. The various forms of stress experienced by these families and their expectations, experiences and limitation are described during the course of the study.
Materials and Method: Parents of Mentally Retarded children from 7 special schools for children with disabilities in the urban limits of Trichy District were chosen for the study. Family Interview for Stress and Coping in Disabilities (FISC-MR) was the tool used for the study.
Results: Fathers reported more stress related to their child’s temperament and their relationship to their child. Mothers reported more stress from the personal consequences of parenting. Fathers were more sensitive to the effects of the family environment whereas mothers were more affected by their personal support networks.
Conclusion: The delicate balance of family relationships can be strengthened or broken by the impact of stress felt by the parents of these special children.
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