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J Child Neurol. 2008 Mar;23(3):301-6. doi: 10.1177/0883073807308712. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Parenting stress in parents of children with epilepsy and asthma.

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Department of Child Care and Education, HungKuang University, Taichung, Taiwan.


The purposes of this study were to identify differences in parenting stress between 2 samples and examine the factors associated with parenting stress. An asthma sample was selected to contrast with the epilepsy sample because both medical conditions are chronic episodic conditions that require daily medication. Data from 49 parents of epileptic children and 54 parents of asthmatic children were examined in this study. Samples were conducted in a hospital pediatric clinic. Parental stress was measured using Abidin's Parenting Stress Index-long form. There were 2 major domains in the Parenting Stress Index: parent domain and child domain. The parent domain included 7 subscales, and the child domain included 6 subscales. Overall, results showed that parental stress was higher in the epilepsy group. Significant differences were found in 7 subscales: adaptability, demanding, hyperactivity/distractibility, role restrictions, depression, relationship to spouse, and parental health. Possible explanations for a higher level of parenting stress in the epilepsy group were discrimination, poor child adaptation, the threat of unpredictability of the seizures, and neurological dysfunction. The causes of higher levels of parenting stress in the asthma group were limitation of activities and parental health condition. These differences should be considered when psychosocial care is offered. Results also showed that demographic variables (gender, age, and family social economic status), age at onset, and condition severity were not effective predictors for parenting stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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