Maternal Adaptation to Child Disability in a Hispanic Population

Johanna Shapiro and Ken Tittle

This study examines psychosocial adaptation of 38 Hispanic mothers to the presence of orthopedic disability in their child. Results indicate that maternal emotional and attitudinal adaptation is most closely correlated with the disabled child’s psycho-behavioral adjustment. Maternal stress appears related to emotional (but not attitudinal) adaptation, while the inverse is true for family function. Maternal communication patterns which focused on problem solving and information seeking are correlated with more positive maternal attitudes toward disability, while emotion-focused communication styles are related to decreases in maternal depression. Implications for physicians and therapists working with Hispanic patients and families are discussed.

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