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Ment Health Fam Med. 2010 Jun;7(2):93-100.

Quality of life in mothers of children with oppositional defiant symptoms: a community sample.

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Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan; Occupational Therapist, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taiwan.


Background Children with oppositional defiant symptoms (ODS) are highly related to parental stress, especially in mothers. This study is the first to investigate the quality of life (QOL) of mothers of children with ODS in a community sample.Methods Randomly selected mothers of children attending an elementary school were contacted, and 387 who completed the questionnaire participated in this study. The children's ODS status was determined by the maternal rating of the Chinese Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham rating scale, version IV. The mothers' QOL was estimated by maternal reports from the World Health Organization Quality of Life - BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) instrument. The relationship between the children's ODS status and maternal QOL was examined by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with the participants' sociodemographic factors as covariables.Results Sixty-three children, mostly boys, met the screening criteria for ODS. The positive screening rate for ODS was 16.49%. The children's ODS status was a significant predictor for the maternal physical capacity, psychological wellbeing and environment domains of QOL. Mothers of children with ODS who rented a house were younger and had lower education levels and worse QOL in all domains.Conclusion A high positive screening rate for ODS children in the elementary school and a relationship between poor maternal QOL and children's ODS were found in this study. Routine screening for ODS in children and mental health services for these children and their mothers are warranted.


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