Facilitating social activity of caregivers of children with learning disabilities could protect their psychological well-being

shutterstock_14786077 mother playing with two young children

Parental stress affects the psychological well-being of care givers and has been associated with increased risk of children with disabilities being taken into care.

This study set out to characterise those providing care and support to children with learning disabilities when they are about to seek outside support and care. The researchers wanted to understand under what conditions psychological well-being and parental stress are affected and they used parental stress as a mediating factor in the study.

They found that parental stress and the child’s depressive feelings strongly affected psychological well-being as well as an indirect relationship to restricted caregiver social activities.

They recommend that support services to parents and caregivers should address depressive feelings among children and facilitate the social activity of caregivers to protect their psychological well-being.

Psychological well-being of caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities: Using parental stress as a mediating factor, Cramm J & Nieboer A in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 15, 2, 101-113

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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