Ameliorating Psychosocial Risk Among Mothers with Intellectual Impairment
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- McConnell, D., Feldman, M., Aunos, M. et al. Community Ment Health J (2016) 52: 944. doi:10.1007/s10597-015-9979-9
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The purpose of this study was to pilot a flexible, group-based program designed to strengthen the social connections and enhance the psychological well-being of mothers with intellectual impairment. A multi-site, mixed-method, pretest–posttest design was employed. To obtain rich process and outcome data, the evaluation incorporated measures of psychosocial well-being, goal achievement scaling, and interviews with group facilitators and participants. A total of 18 mothers completed the program. Participation was associated with a meaningful reduction in psychological distress with effect sizes ranging from .57 for depression to .71 for anxiety. Participating in the group program gave the mothers something to look forward to each week, opportunities to learn from and support others, and the feeling of “being a part of society”. Further research is needed to determine whether these promising results can be replicated, and to evaluate the long-term impact of the program on mothers and their children.