Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Research has shown that youth with spina bifida (SB) have poorer psychosocial outcomes, including health-related quality of life (HRQOL), compared to typically developing youth. Demographic and illness-severity factors that may affect HRQOL have been identified, but modifiable factors affecting HRQOL have not yet been identified in this population. Potential modifiable factors include parent factors. In fact, in other pediatric populations, parent factors have been found to impact HRQOL above and beyond illness-severity. This impact may be especially salient for youth with SB, as these youth are more socially isolated and depend on parents for both medical and non-medical caregiving needs.

The current study proposes that increases in three parent factors (parent distress, parenting stress, and SB-specific parenting stress) lead to less adaptive parenting behaviors, which, in turn, affect youth HRQOL. The present study addresses gaps in the literature by utilizing a longitudinal, multi-method, and multi-informant research design.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.