Individual Adjustment, Parental Functioning, and Perceived Social Support in Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Mothers and Fathers of Children With Spina Bifida


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Abstract

Objective To compare Hispanic and non-Hispanic White mothers and fathers of children with spina bifida on measures of individual adjustment, parental functioning, and perceived social support. Method Mothers (29 Hispanic, 79 non-Hispanic White) and fathers (26 Hispanic, 68 non-Hispanic White) completed questionnaires regarding psychological distress, parental functioning, and perceived social support. Results Mothers and fathers reported similar individual adjustment across groups. Hispanic mothers reported lower levels of parenting satisfaction, competence as a parent, and social support, as well as higher perceptions of child vulnerability. Hispanic fathers reported lower levels of parenting satisfaction and higher perceptions of child vulnerability. Effect sizes were reduced when socioeconomic status was included as a covariate. Conclusions Hispanic parents, particularly mothers, are at risk for lower feelings of satisfaction and competence as parents. More research is needed to understand cultural factors related to these differences.

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