Parental Stress in Mothers of Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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ObjectiveTo examine parental stress in mothers of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).MethodStress and its predictors were examined in mothers of boys with DMD (n=112). Comparisons were made with mothers of healthy children (n=800), children with cerebral palsy (CP; n=28), siblings of boys with DMD (n=46), and longitudinally (n=16).ResultsThe presence of problem child behaviors consistently predicted maternal stress. Stress related to child behavior was higher in the DMD versus the normative group. No differences in stress were found in the DMD versus CP groups. Stress related to boys with DMD versus siblings was not significantly different. Over time, maternal stress related to child variables diminished.ConclusionStress in mothers of boys with DMD is elevated, possibly due to increased problem behaviors, particularly in social interactions, rather than due to the physical demands of the disease alone.

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