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J Intellect Disabil Res. 2006 Dec;50(Pt 12):862-73.

Socio-economic position, household composition, health status and indicators of the well-being of mothers of children with and without intellectual disabilities.

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Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Intellect Disabil Res. 2007 Feb;51(Pt 2):172. Blacker, J [corrected to Blacher, J].



Many previous studies have reported that mothers of children with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are more likely to show signs of psychological distress and have lower well-being than mothers of 'typically developing' children. Our aim was to estimate the extent to which these differences may be accounted for by between-group differences in socio-economic position.


This study involved secondary analysis of happiness, self-esteem and self-efficacy variables in a nationally representative sample of 6954 British mothers with dependent children under the age of 17 years, 514 of whom were supporting a child with an ID.


Mothers of children with IDs reported lower levels of happiness, self-esteem and self-efficacy than mothers of children without IDs. Statistically controlling for differences in socio-economic position, household composition and maternal characteristics fully accounted for the between-group differences in maternal happiness, and accounted for over 50% of the elevated risk for poorer self-esteem and self-efficacy.


A socially and statistically significant proportion of the increased risk of poorer well-being among mothers of children with IDs may be attributed to their increased risk of socio-economic disadvantage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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