Effects of parental adjustment on the adaptation of children with congenital or acquired limb deficiencies.
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Maternal and paternal depression, anxiety, and marital discord were investigated as predictors of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem in 54 children with congenital or acquired limb deficiencies. Higher paternal depression predicted higher child depression and higher anxiety. Higher paternal anxiety predicted higher child depression and anxiety and lower self-esteem. Higher marital discord predicted higher child depression and anxiety and lower self-esteem. Maternal depression and anxiety did not predict child psychological adaptation. Family support had a positive effect on child adaptation, as did parent, classmate, teacher, and friend social support. The findings are discussed in terms of the risk and protective effects of parental distress, marital discord, and social support on the psychological adaptation of children with visible chronic physical disorders. J Dev Behav Pediatr 14:13-20, 1993. Index terms: limb deficiencies, children, adjustment, social support, parental distress, family functioning, marital discord.