Risk and Resistance Factors in the Adaptation in Mothers of Children With Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

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ObjectiveTo examine the importance of illness severity, child functional status, psychosocial stress, intrapersonal factors, stress processing, and social-ecological factors in predicting psychological symptoms among mothers of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).MethodsMothers of 92 children with JRA completed surveys while waiting with their children for physician appointments or during JRA meeting breaks.ResultsMothers reported higher mean levels of psychological symptoms than a normative group. Higher levels of psychosocial stress predicted increased psychological symptoms after accounting for disease severity and functional status. Maternal appraisal of the illness tended to moderate the relationship between illness stress and psychological symptoms, and maternal education moderated the relationship between daily hassles stress and psychological symptoms.ConclusionsThese data indicate that mothers of children with JRA are at risk for psychological distress. Inteventions that take into account the buffering effects of maternal education and appraisal may serve to decrease the effects of maternal stress.

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