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The influence of psychosocial factors on the health of parents caring for children with disabilities

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dc.contributor.advisor Gallagher, Stephen
dc.contributor.advisor Muldoon, Orla T. Cantwell, Joanne 2016-09-07T15:02:30Z 2016-09-07T15:02:30Z 2016
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The focus of this thesis was to identify psychosocial factors associated with the variance in health outcomes for parents of children with disabilities. The approach taken was in line with a recent paradigm shift from identifying factors predictive of psychological distress to one of exploring factors that buffer parents from the stress of caring and thus serve a protective function for parental health. A role identity framework was identified as a promising method of exploring the underlying pathways to the maintenance of protective factors. Resources associated with the successful evaluation of role identities are mastery and self-esteem, thus in the first study and the two empirical papers that emerged from this study, the part that these resources play in health outcomes for parents was established. The results suggest that higher levels of these resources are beneficial for psychological and physical health but the relationships between these factors and other established risk and protective factors, i.e. stress and social support, are complex and nuanced. The data reported in the third paper, which emerged from the longitudinal study, highlight the constancy of poorer parental psychological well-being over time. The benefit of roles such as employment in maintaining better psychological well-being was supported. The fourth paper explored the associations between role identity processes and parental psychological well-being. The results suggest that multiple roles, role balance and roles outside of the caring role were associated with less depressive symptomology. Of the role identity processes role balance predicted the greatest variance in depressive symptomology however perception of performance in roles outside of caring, irrespective of the type of role, predicated less depressive symptomology. These findings suggest that for parents of children with disabilities managing a smaller number of identities but having one outside the parenting role which provides a method of self-evaluation is important to psychological well-being. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.relation Cantwell, J Muldoon, O & Gallagher, S (under review) Coping resources, roles and psychological well-being among mothers of children with disabilities American Journal of Developemntal and intellectual Disability
dc.relation Cantwell, J Muldoon, O & Gallagher, S (in preparation) Role identity and psychological well-being among parents of children with disabilities
dc.subject children with disabilities en_US
dc.subject parents en_US
dc.subject psychosocial factors en_US
dc.title The influence of psychosocial factors on the health of parents caring for children with disabilities en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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