The relationship between severity of cerebral palsy in children and the levels of stress experienced by their parents

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dc.contributor.author Pugin, Angela Janine
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-13T10:54:42Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-13T10:54:42Z
dc.date.issued 2008-08-13T10:54:42Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/5342
dc.description.abstract Parenting is inherently stressful at times and several studies have shown that being a caregiver of a child who is disabled is even more stressful. A number of studies have tried to identify demographic and psychosocial variables which are predictive of parenting stress levels. It is obvious from these studies that parenting stress is complex as there is no general consensus as to what the factors are which exacerbate or mediate parenting stress in caregivers of children who are disabled. The aim of this study was therefore to assess the parenting stress levels of caregivers of children who are disabled and to try to establish whether the level of the child’s disability influenced parenting stress levels. Further objectives were to ascertain whether various psychosocial and demographic variables were predictive of parenting stress levels. In order to meet these objectives the Parenting Stress Index/Short Form was sent to caregivers of children with cerebral palsy who were attending Frances Voorweg School in Johannesburg. Caregivers also completed a demographic questionnaire. The severity of disability of the children was classified using the Gross Motor Function Classification System. Thirty-five parenting stress questionnaires were returned to the researcher. Means and frequencies were used to summarise the demographic data. T-tests were performed to establish whether there was any significant difference between the parenting stress levels of caregivers of children who were more functionally disabled and those whose children were less disabled. Pearson’s correlations were used to determine whether there was any correlation between demographic variables and parenting stress levels. The parents of the children in the sample showed clinically significant, and in many cases, pathological levels of parenting stress. This stress was however, not in anyway influenced by the severity of their children’s disabilities. The only variable that correlated strongly to the level of parenting stress was found to be the income level of the family (r=0.8). The results of this study confirm that parenting stress is complex and that it is not a simple matter to predict the parenting stress levels of caregivers of disabled children. Therapists should evaluate the needs of each family individually and follow a family centred approach when managing children with cerebral palsy. en
dc.format.extent 3413466 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject childhood disability en
dc.subject cerebral palsy en
dc.subject parenting stress en
dc.title The relationship between severity of cerebral palsy in children and the levels of stress experienced by their parents en
dc.type Thesis en


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