The impact of the mentally handicapped child upon parents : a comparative study


Show simple item record Lea, Susan Jane en_ZA 2015-12-20T15:38:38Z 2015-12-20T15:38:38Z 1986 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Lea, S. 1986. The impact of the mentally handicapped child upon parents : a comparative study. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.description Bibliography: leaves 243-259. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the mentally handicapped child upon the parents. A paucity of systematic and comprehensive work exists in this field in general, and particularly in South Africa. For this reason broad aims and exploratory research hypotheses were formulated, within the theoretical framework of stress, coping and social support. Participants were the biological parents of mentally handicapped children (N = 72). All participants were classified as 'white' and an equal number of mothers and fathers was selected. Two groups (n = 36) of participants were chosen for comparison, i.e. parents who had placed the handicapped child in permanent residential care and parents whose handicapped child lived at home and attended a daycare centre. The number of parents with a male child equaled the number of parents with a female child in each group. The study embraced both quantitative and qualitative methods. In terms of the quantitative design, participants completed two questionnaires. The Personal Details Questionnaire, drawn up by the researcher, served to elicit the demographic details of participants. The short-form of the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress (Friedrich, Greenberg & Crnic, 1983), a true-false questionnaire, was used to estimate the psychological costs to parents living with and caring for a mentally handicapped child. Parametric and non-parametric tests, where appropriate, were employed to analyse the data. Qualitative material was gathered during the course of depth interviews which were conducted with the parents. All parents were interviewed twice in their own home and the duration of each interview was between two and five hours. A semi -structured interview schedule was used to guide the interview, during which the two questionnaires were also completed. All interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and loosely content analysed. Several variables were found to be significantly associated with parental stress. Mothers were shown to experience stress of a different nature to that experienced by fathers in relation to the handicapped child. A significant relationship between parental stress and gender of child and type of care, in interaction, was revealed. The variables of socio-economic status, religious conviction and the parents' medical and psychological history were related to parental stress. Interpersonal social support was shown to influence the manner in which parents coped with the mentally handicapped child. Findings were discussed in the light of relevant theory and an attempt was made to for formulate a theoretical framework, utilizing the concepts of stress, coping and social support. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Psychology en_ZA
dc.title The impact of the mentally handicapped child upon parents : a comparative study en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Psychology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record