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Testing a model predicting depression, anxiety and stress in parents of children with Down syndrome


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Van Der Hek, JM 2018 , 'Testing a model predicting depression, anxiety and stress in parents of children with Down syndrome', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Down syndrome is a disorder characterised by mild to moderate intellectual impairment, short stature and certain facial characteristics (Gokhale, Solanki & Agarwal, 2014). Caring for a child with Down syndrome can be challenging, placing immense strain on parents and negatively impacting their mental health. Falk, Norris and Quinn (2014) created a model (Model A) predicting distress in parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), suggesting that parental cognitions, social support and economic support play a mediating role between parental distress and their child’s ASD severity and externalising behaviours. Further validation of Model A suggested that it might have universal applicability (Bones, 2017). In order to test this, 211 parents of children aged between 4 and 17 with Down syndrome, ADHD or no disorder were recruited for the current study. Model A predictors were found to hold in the whole sample when regression analysis was performed, however low correlations were found between socioeconomic factors and distress in the parents of Down syndrome children sample, indicating that an alternative model may better predict distress in this population. The results of the study support the efficacy of parent-focused interventions and the use of CBT in providing beneficial outcomes for both Down syndrome parents and their children.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Van Der Hek, JM
Keywords: Down syndrome, parents, distress, stress, anxiety, depression
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Copyright 2018 the author

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