Using a biopsychosocial approach to examine parental sense of burden and competency associated with raising a child with a physical disability

Sharon Barak, Dina Elad, Dafna Gutman, Tamar Silberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Parents report both positive and negative experiences associated with raising a child with a physical disability. However, distinctive factors may affect children and families differently. Aims: Using a biopsychosocial approach, the current study expands on the existing literature on the general impact of raising a child with a disability. Methods: Participants were 98 parents of children/youth with a physical disability. Parents reported on child's level of physical disability, the impact of the disability on the family (financial, social, personal strain and mastery) and their general health. Data were analysed to examine how different biopsychosocial factors are associated with raising a child with a physical disability. Results: Parents reported that child's disability had a higher social impact, compared with the financial and personal burden, as well as compared with their sense of competency and mastery. Child's level of disability was associated with financial burden, whereas parental emotional distress was associated with parents' personal and social burden, with the latter also associated with parent's religiosity. Total impact was associated with parental emotional distress and educational level. Conclusions: Altogether, parental characteristics, but not child's characteristics, were associated with greater caregiver burden. Furthermore, the social impact a child's physical disability has on the family exceeded other sources of burden within the family. Providing parents social and emotional support, tailored to their unique biopsychosocial needs, may mitigate burden and distress, and increase sense of competency among families of children with a physical disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-528
Number of pages11
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Impact on Family Scale
  • caregiver burden
  • disability
  • paediatrics
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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