Parental perception of learning-disabled children's adjustment problems and related stress

Research paper by M. Mary Konstantareas, Soula Homatidis

Indexed on: 01 Apr '89Published on: 01 Apr '89Published in: Journal of abnormal child psychology


Mothers and fathers of learning-disabled (LD) children rated their children's problems on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the stress they experienced as a result of each problem. Data were examined as a function of (a) the child's sex, age, birth order, IQ, discrepancy IQ, and degree of LD, (b) the parents' age, locus of control, and self-concept, and (c) family SES, family size, and mother's working status. Both parents rated externalizing behaviors higher than internalizing. Boys were rated as significantly more problematic and stressful than girls. Greater child adjustment problems and concomitant parental stress were reported by the younger half of the maternal sample and their spouses, and by fathers with a lower self-concept and their wives. Although mothers did not differ from fathers in behavior ratings, they reported greater stress in response to them. This was particularly true of mothers of middle or upper SES with an external locus of control.