Mental health impacts on parents with intellectual disability
Wade, C., Llewellyn, G. & Matthews J. (2015). Parent mental health as a mediator of contextual effects on parents with intellectual disabilities and their children. Clinical Psychologist, 19, 27–37. https://doi.org/10.1111/cp.12055
In the face of limited research addressing the impact of mental health on parents with intellectual disability and their children, this article explores associations between socioeconomic disadvantage, social support, parent mental health, parenting practices, and child well-being for families where a parent has intellectual disability.
Data were collected from 120 Australian parents with intellectual disability who were participants in an Australian effectiveness trial of two parent education programmes. A theoretical model of relationships between measures of socioeconomic disadvantage, parent mental health, parenting, social support, and child development was examined using structural equation modelling.
Access to social support and parent mental health had a direct effect on self-reported parenting practices and the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage on parenting was mediated by parent mental health and social support. The influence of parent mental health on children was mediated by its effect on parenting practices.
Parent mental health and social support are factors that influence parenting behaviours among parents with intellectual disability. Understanding their influence on parents and children indicates a way ahead for parenting interventions aimed at promoting optimal child outcomes for these families.