Predictors of parental distress after congenital disabilities.
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J Dev Behav Pediatr 21 (4): 271--277 (August 2000)

This study investigated the relationship between child functional independence, family dynamics, psychosocial factors, and level of distress in parents of children with congenital disabilities. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, the Family Assessment Device (FAD), and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) were administered to 60 parents of children with cerebral palsy, 34 parents of children with spina bifida, and 27 parents of children with limb deficiencies. Stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated that the Roles scale from the FAD and the presence of a significant new psychosocial stressor within the previous 6 months were statistically significant predictors of the level of parental distress as assessed by the BSI. Exploration of the extent to which families have adaptive distributions of responsibilities for dealing with domestic tasks, as well as with unrelated life stressors, may be helpful in identifying those parents of children with congenital disabilities who are at risk for distress.
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