Stress and Adaptation in Mothers of Children With Cerebral Palsy

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Objective:To assess the importance of disability severity and child functional status as predictors of maternal depressive symptoms and the moderating effects of maternal appraisal, social support, and family income on the relationship between disability factors (severity and functional status) and maternal depressive symptoms.Method:Mothers of 270 children with cerebral palsy completed surveys on their appraisal of the child's disability, social support, and family demographics. Physicians assessed the severity of the disability and the child's functional status.Results:Thirty percent of the mothers had depressive symptoms above the cutoff on a depression screening instrument. Disability severity and child's functional status did not predict maternal depression. Perceived social support moderated the relationship between the child's functional status and maternal depressive symptoms.

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