Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Stephen B. Hillman
Past research has found that parents and primary caregivers of children with developmental disabilities experience more stress than parents with children of normal development (Cushner-Weinstein et al., 2008; Hussain & Juyal, 2007). The present study examined the influence that coping style has on the relationship between known stress influencing variables (social support, severity of child disability, life orientation) and the perception of stress for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. Parents or primary caregivers (N = 127) whose children received mental health services from a large Community Mental Health agency in Washtenaw County, Michigan participated in the study. Participants were assessed using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), SF-10 Health Survey for Children (SF-10), Revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R), Ways of Coping Scale (WCS), the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF), and a demographic survey.
A multiple regression analysis was utilized according to the model for statistical mediation developed by Baron and Kenny (1986). This statistical method sought to analyze the mediating impact coping style had on the relationship between the stress influencing variables (social support, life orientation, severity of disability) utilized and the perception of stress for parents and primary caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. The results of this analysis indicated that coping style acted as a partial mediator in the relationship between social support and stress perception for parents/caregivers of children with developmental disabilities.
A potential benefit of the study was that the research focused on caregivers of children with developmental disabilities who have been mostly overlooked in the literature while possible limitations included demographic characteristics of the sample and issues related to the instrumentation utilized. It is suggested that future research utilize the current model to analyze other variables found to influence stress for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities.
Peer, Justin Wayne, "Coping Style As A Mediator Of Stress Perception For Caregivers Of Children With Developmental Disabilities" (2011). Wayne State University Dissertations. Paper 203.