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Title: The emotional and social lives of parents with a learning disability and the impact of a positive parenting programme on psychological well-being : a pilot study
Author: Cottrell, Julie
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Recent government documents have highlighted the need to improve services for parents with a learning disability. Despite these parents being identified as one of the most vulnerable groups for mental-health difficulties, mental health and other important areas of parenting (e.g. social support) have been neglected with these parents. Likewise, services running parenting programmes have failed to identify parents with learning disabilities and therefore adapt parenting groups or assessments to suit this population. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the levels of parental stress, general anxiety and depression, child behaviour problems, social support and parenting difficulties in parents with learning disabilities (PART A) and to set-up and evaluate the effect of an adapted piloted positive parenting programme (Triple P) on these variables (PART B). Parent satisfaction with the groups was also investigated. With the exception of the parenting skills assessment, results were compared with a control group of parents without learning disabilities. Both groups were found to be experiencing significant levels of parental stress, general anxiety and depression and child behaviour problems and no differences were found between the groups. The parents with a learning disability were found to have a lower number of social supports but rated these supports as more helpful than the control group. Intervention resulted in a significant decrease in parental stress for the parents with a learning disability only and neither group had decreased mental health or child behaviour scores. Intervention did however lead to an increase in social support and appropriate parenting strategies for the parents with a learning disability. Both groups rated the Triple P programme highly in terms of consumer satisfaction. The clinical implications of the levels of anxiety and depression of the parents with a learning disability are discussed, including the need for specialist provision for this population and co-ordination between child and learning disability specialities in Tayside. Areas for further research are also noted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available