Effectiveness of a Training Program in the Management of Stress for Parents of Disabled Children

Abstract

Objectives

Children suffering from disabilities require special care that may influence their family environment and result in parental stress. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a stress-management program for parents with disabled children.

Methods

The experimental procedure included a pre-test, post-test and 6-month follow-up evaluation of the stress levels, and adaptation and parental coping strategies. Seven 90-min long group sessions were held once a week in the experimental group and their satisfaction with the program was assessed. The principal aspects of the program were stress and coping strategies conceptualization, relaxation training, control of breathing, cognitive restructuring of a sense of guilt, training on coping skills, problem-solving, rewarding activities, improving self-esteem, assertive communication, the importance of humor and optimism, and value of social support.

Results

Significant differences were seen between the pre- and post-test scores of the majority of the evaluated variables, except for the use of avoidance strategies, in the experimental group. In addition, compared to the control group, the experimental group showed significant improvements in various indices after the intervention.

Conclusion

The development of a stress management training program is more effective than no treatment for parents of disabled children. Family intervention programs can improve parental response to stress factors.

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Fig. 1

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Author Contributions

EVM, RLL, PRP: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. JMAP, DPG, MAMR: collaborated with the design, analyzed the data and wrote part of the results. All the authors: collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to José M. Aguilar-Parra or Patricia Rocamora-Pérez.

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López-Liria, R., Vargas-Muñoz, E., Aguilar-Parra, J.M. et al. Effectiveness of a Training Program in the Management of Stress for Parents of Disabled Children. J Child Fam Stud 29, 964–977 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01665-5

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Keywords

  • Stress
  • Intervention
  • Disabled
  • Strategies
  • Adaptation