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J Fam Soc Work. 2010 May 1;13(3):227-250.

Latina Mothers Caring for a Son or Daughter with Autism or Schizophrenia: Similarities, Differences and the Relationship Between Co-Residency and Maternal Well-Being.

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  • 1School of Social Work University of Wisconsin-Madison.


In this cross-sectional study, we examined similarities and differences in depressive symptoms and psychological well-being between Latina maternal caregivers of persons with autism (N=29) and schizophrenia (N=33). We also explored predictors of maternal outcomes and the relationship of co-residence to them. Regression analysis found that mothers of adults with schizophrenia had lower levels of psychological well-being than mothers of youth or adults with autism. For the overall sample of mothers, co-residing with their son or daughter was significantly related to lower levels of depressive symptoms. Qualitative analysis of the nine mothers who lived apart from their son or daughter revealed that extreme behavior problems of the son or daughter and poor maternal health contributed to living apart. Despite overcoming these challenges, mothers expressed a profound sense of sadness about their son or daughters' living arrangements.

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