The effects of parental cognitions on stress reactions in parents of children with intellectual disabilities
This thesis consists of a literature review, a research report, and a public
The literature review, intended for submission to Clinical Psychology Review,
begins with a review of theories of stress in parents caring for children with disabilities or
other disorders. The importance of parental cognitions is a common theme in these
theories, and the literature on three forms of parental cognitions is therefore reviewed.
The review concludes by discussing the implications of this research for parents of
children with intellectual disabilities.
The research report, intended for submission to the Journal of Child Psychology
and Psychiatry, is a study of parenting stress in 46 mothers of children with intellectual
disabilities. The study includes measures of child characteristics, family support, and
parental cognitions. The results show that parenting stress is associated with child
behaviour difficulties, parental locus of control, and parenting satisfaction. Some
potential clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
The public dissemination paper provides a summary of the literature review and
research report for a non-psychological readership. It is written for the school headteachers
who assisted in recruiting participants and for several of the participants who
requested feedback on the outcome of the research.