Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Past research suggests that parents of youth with spina bifida (SB) have worse psychosocial outcomes than parents of typically developing youth. SB is a complex medical condition that is accompanied by varying degrees of physical disability and cognitive deficits. Research on stress and coping suggests that parents' attitudes and beliefs may contribute to their own psychosocial adjustment. This study unpacks condition severity and examines the role of severity of condition-related factors in predicting parental adjustment and parental attitudes and beliefs. Participants were recruited as part of a larger longitudinal study. Information on condition severity, including type of SB, lesion level, shunt status, and gross motor functioning, was gathered from medical charts and mother report. at Times 1, 2 and 3, parents also completed assessments of parental adjustment, expectations about the future, and perceptions of child vulnerability. Including covariates (child age and SES), hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the degree to which condition severity variables predicted the above outcomes. All analyses included child age and SES as covariates. the severity of condition related factors in youth with SB may impact parental adjustment and parental attitudes and beliefs. These relationships may be complex. an appreciation of the relationship between these factors may help clinicians target families for intervention. This study also examined the mediating and moderating roles of parental attitudes and beliefs on the relationship between condition severity and other parent psychosocial outcomes. a few significant correlations were found between condition severity variables and parent adjustment cross-sectionally and longitudinally. However, condition severity does not seem to be the most salient factor predicting parent adjustment in this population. Parental attitudes and beliefs did not mediate the relationship between condition severity and parent adjustment. Parental attitudes and beliefs had some moderating interaction effects on condition severity but only in a few specific models. an appreciation of the relationship between these factors may help clinicians target families for intervention.

Creative Commons License

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

Available for download on Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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