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Z Kinderchir. 1983 Dec;38 Suppl 2:103-6.

The effect of disability on family life.


In the GLC Spina Bifida Survey families were interviewed at 11 years old and the effects of a child with spina bifida on the sibs, father and mother were explored. Health and behaviour of the sibs were reported as at least as good as that of sibs of normal children although mothers of disabled children were more likely to feel that the sibs had suffered. Fathers appeared to have been unrestricted in occupational choice; over the last 9 years 40% had moved upward in social class, twice as many as those who had moved downward. Parents of severely disabled children were significantly more restricted in some social activities than were those of the lightly disabled, and significantly more mothers of SB than of controls reported feeling run-down and depressed. No significant relationship could be found between measures of either health or stress in the parents and any measure of the child's disability level, dependence or amount of hospitalisation, nor with measures of social restriction. There is nevertheless a continuing need for help and support for families of disabled children, for them to make use of as they wish.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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