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Psychological effects on parents of a child with cerebal palsy: A cross-cultural study

Seyedi-Rezvani, Shahin (2001) Psychological effects on parents of a child with cerebal palsy: A cross-cultural study. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Parents are the primary providers of care-giving services to children with disabilities in almost all countries and cultures of the world. The majority of past studies that have been conducted to assess the psychological adjustment of parents of children with disabilities have only focused on the perspective of one culture. In this cross-cultural study, the impact of a child with cerebral palsy on the parents was investigated in two countries. The present study focuses on the psychological assessment of the Western and Middle - eastern cultures of Australia and Iran. The aim was to provide quantitative and qualitative information in regard to the factors that contribute towards parental stress and coping, marital problems and self esteem in parents.

The study involved 85 participants, of which 35 were parents of children with cerebral palsy and 50 were parents of children without disabilities. Of the 35 participants, twenty were recruited from the Sir David Brand Centre of Western Australia and fifteen parents were assessed from the Rehabilitation Centre of Iran. The functioning of parents was assessed by four self-report standardised psychological tests; Parenting Stress Index - PSI (120 questions) Coping Resources Inventory (60 questions), Partner Relationship Inventory - PRI (80 questions) and the Self-Esteem Inventory - SEI (25 questions).

Results indicate high stress, low self-esteem and extensive martial disruption among parents of children with disabilities. However, Iranians showed higher levels of coping than Australian subjects. The factors contributing to these adaptive abilities were analysed and showed the possible relevant influence of cultural beliefs and religious values.

Through qualitative data, the study identified the most significant factors that contribute towards the stress of parents caring for a child with cerebral palsy. The findings also identify the types of strategies that parents believe would be most useful in reducing or alleviating their stress and marital problems.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Innes, Mike
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