Factors Associated with Parenting Stress in Mothers of Children with Fragile X Syndrome

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ABSTRACT.Whereas previous research has demonstrated elevated levels of parenting stress in parents of children with general developmental disability, there has been little investigation of stress in parents of children specifically affected by the common neurogenetic disorder fragile X syndrome (FraX). This study elucidates stress profiles in mothers of children with FraX and delineates the contribution of child characteristics, home environment, and maternal psychological functioning to specific dimensions of parental stress. Data on child, home, and family characteristics were collected from 75 families with a child affected by FraX. These characteristics were entered into multiple regression analyses with a domain or subscale of the Parenting Stress Index as the dependent variable in each analysis. The results demonstrated that aspects of child behavior, family cohesion, household income, and maternal psychopathology differentially correlate with specific dimensions of parenting stress. Determining the relative contribution of factors associated with stress will assist in the development of interventions to improve parental well-being in mothers of children with FraX.

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