Maternal adaptation to a child's epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2004 Aug;5(4):557-68. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2004.04.015.


Mothers of children with epilepsy are at risk for problems in adapting to their child's condition; however, factors associated with maternal adaptation to a child's epilepsy have not been well articulated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among maternal and child characteristics, maternal beliefs, and maternal adaptation outcomes. A conceptual model was formulated based on the literature. Maternal beliefs were proposed to mediate the relationships between maternal and child characteristics and maternal adaptation outcomes. A sample of 156 maternal-child dyads provided data via structured telephone interviews. Multiple regression analysis was used to test for additive and mediated relationships. Mediation was not supported statistically. Child behavior problems, maternal satisfaction with family, and maternal learned helplessness had the strongest associations with maternal outcomes, suggesting that maternal adaptation to a child's epilepsy is complex and includes multiple factors in addition to the child's seizure condition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Depression / psychology
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors