Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 8, pp 944–953 | Cite as

Ameliorating Psychosocial Risk Among Mothers with Intellectual Impairment

  • David McConnell
  • Maurice Feldman
  • Marjorie Aunos
  • Laura Pacheco
  • Amber Savage
  • Lyndsey Hahn
  • Camille Dube
  • Sonia Chenier
  • Elly Park
Original Paper


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.


Social isolation Intellectual impairment Mothers Community participation 



This study was supported by a research grant from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research, Canada (ACCFCR, 101001INV-McConnell).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David McConnell
    • 1
  • Maurice Feldman
    • 2
  • Marjorie Aunos
    • 3
  • Laura Pacheco
    • 3
  • Amber Savage
    • 4
  • Lyndsey Hahn
    • 4
  • Camille Dube
    • 4
  • Sonia Chenier
    • 4
  • Elly Park
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Applied Disability StudiesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  3. 3.CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (ODIM)MontrealCanada
  4. 4.Family and Disability Studies InitiativeUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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