Title

Stress and the quality of life in the parents of young people with intellectual disabilities

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Browne, G & Bramston, P 1998, 'Stress and the quality of life in the parents of young people with intellectual disabilities', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 415-421.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a study into stress and quality of life in the parents of young people with an intellectual disability. Research in this area often finds that parents suffer stress as a result of having a son or daughter with an intellectual disability. According to Glidden (1993), this has led to the mistaken perception amongst researchers and professionals in the field that these parents are maladjusted. Glidden's work with parents adopting children with an intellectual disability suggest the parenting may be a satisfying experience and suggests a research focus based on outcomes. In this study the participants, including 102 parents of young people with (44) and without (58) an intellectual disability, were mailed a stress questionnaire and quality of life questionnaire. The results of the analysis of these data demonstrate that the families with a member with a disability report significantly greater stress, they also demonstrated that as stress increases the quality of life decreases. Governments need to address this problem if current policies of integrating people with intellectual disabilities into the community are to be successful. This paper also discusses the reasons natural parents of people with disabilities are dissatisfied while adopting parents are not and suggests further research into this important topic.