Perceived stress, ego-resiliency, and relational resources as predictors of psychological well-being in parents of children with Down syndrome
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Submission date: 2016-07-09
Final revision date: 2016-10-10
Acceptance date: 2016-10-10
Online publication date: 2017-11-14
Publication date: 2017-06-23
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(1):50-59
The objective of the present study was to examine the role of perceived stress, ego-resiliency, and relational resources in maintaining psychological well-being in parents of children with Down syndrome, in particular in groups of mothers and fathers. Being a parent of a child with a disability is stressful, and it can be a burden. Despite these negative aspects of child-rearing, mothers and fathers are supported by their own resources and help from other people.

Participants and procedure
The study included 126 parents of children with Down syndrome (75 mothers and 51 fathers). All parents were married at the time of the study (i.e. the study did not involve single parents). The subjects completed questionnaires of psychological well-being, perceived stress, ego-resiliency, quality of marital relationship, and perceived social support.

Perceived stress proved to be a negative predictor (β = –.35) of psychological well-being both in the group of all parents and in groups of mothers and fathers. Ego-resiliency, perceived social support, and quality of marital relationship were positive predictors in the group of all parents, whereas ego-resiliency was a positive predictor (β = .29) of psychological well-being of fathers; perceived social support constituted a positive predictor (β = .25) in the group of mothers.

The results of the present study show the factors that have a significant effect on parental well-being and may, thus, be unfavourable (e.g. perceived stress) or favourable (e.g. perceived social support for mothers, ego-resiliency for fathers) for adaptation of parents of children with Down syndrome and their mental health. Particularly interesting are the differences in groups of mothers and fathers with regard to factors positively affecting their psychological well-being: relational resources (social support) are factors important for mothers, whereas psychological inner resources (ego-resiliency) are important for fathers. Further research on the topic is needed.
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