Mastery and Self-esteem are Associated With Better Physical Health in Parents of Children With Disabilities


  • J. Cantwell
  • O. Muldoon
  • S. Gallagher


Background: Parents caring for children with disabilities have poorer physical health. As yet however, the role of mastery and self-esteem as determinants of physical health in these caring parents has not been really tested. Methods: 108 parents of children with disabilities and a control sample of 58 parents of normally developing children completed validated measures of physical health, self-esteem and mastery. Findings: Parent of children with disabilities had poorer physical health, lower self-esteem and mastery. Moreover, both self-esteem and mastery were significant predictors of physical health with the model predicting 25% of the variance. Discussion: findings from this study emphasise the protective role of self-esteem and mastery for physical health in parents of children with disabilities. When designing supports and intervention protocols for families with children with disabilities methods of increasing these factors in parents should be included.






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