Evaluating a Dynamic Process Model of Wellbeing for Parents of Children With Disabilities: A Multi-Method Analysis
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible determinants of parent wellbeing using a contextual model of parent adjustment. METHOD: One hundred forty parents of children with various disabilities (i.e., autism, intellectual disabilities, and other health impairments) participated in this investigation. Parents completed a survey consisting of basic demographic characteristics of the parent, child-disability characteristics, parent problem solving ability, access to information and resources, environmental/social supports, appraisals of threat and growth, and measures of life satisfaction and physical/mental health. Structural equation modeling was conducted to test a hypothesized contextual model of parent wellbeing. RESULTS: Results indicated strong fit to the a priori model. After controlling for the contribution of parent demographic variables, the largest contributors to the prediction of parent wellbeing were parent problem solving ability, access to resources, environmental/social supports, and parent appraisals of threat. Child functional impairment was not significantly associated with parent wellbeing. CONCLUSIONS: Access to resources and environmental/social supports have a greater direct effect on parent wellbeing than parent and child demographic variables and disability severity. Threat appraisals have direct and mediating effects on parent wellbeing. Implications related to the importance of resources and environmental/social supports, appraisals of threat and growth, and problem solving abilities on the wellbeing of parents of children with disabilities are discussed.
author list (cited authors)
Resch, J. A., Benz, M. R., & Elliott, T. R.