Background: Parents report both positive and negative experiences associated with raising a child with a physical disability. However, distinctive factors may affect children and families differently. Aims: Using a biopsychosocial approach, the current study expands on the existing literature on the general impact of raising a child with a disability. Methods: Participants were 98 parents of children/youth with a physical disability. Parents reported on child's level of physical disability, the impact of the disability on the family (financial, social, personal strain and mastery) and their general health. Data were analysed to examine how different biopsychosocial factors are associated with raising a child with a physical disability. Results: Parents reported that child's disability had a higher social impact, compared with the financial and personal burden, as well as compared with their sense of competency and mastery. Child's level of disability was associated with financial burden, whereas parental emotional distress was associated with parents' personal and social burden, with the latter also associated with parent's religiosity. Total impact was associated with parental emotional distress and educational level. Conclusions: Altogether, parental characteristics, but not child's characteristics, were associated with greater caregiver burden. Furthermore, the social impact a child's physical disability has on the family exceeded other sources of burden within the family. Providing parents social and emotional support, tailored to their unique biopsychosocial needs, may mitigate burden and distress, and increase sense of competency among families of children with a physical disability.
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© 2022 The Authors. Child: Care, Health and Development published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Impact on Family Scale
- caregiver burden