Mothers' resolution of their child's diagnosis and self-reported measures of parenting stress, marital relations, and social support

J Pediatr Psychol. 1997 Apr;22(2):197-212. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/22.2.197.


Investigated the relation between maternal resolution/nonresolution of a child's diagnosis of chronic medical condition to self-reported measures of parenting stress, marital quality, and social support. Mothers were administered the Reaction to Diagnosis Interview, and classified as Resolved/Unresolved with respect to the child's diagnosis. Mothers also completed the Parenting Stress Index, Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), Support Functions Scale, and Family Support Scale. Fathers completed the DAS. Maternal resolution vs. nonresolution of diagnosis was related to parenting stress, husband marital satisfaction, and level and helpfulness of social support. Resolution of diagnosis was not related to need for support. Specific subclassifications of Resolved and Unresolved also were differentially related to level and helpfulness of social support. Findings suggest that resolution/nonresolution of diagnosis has implications not only for individual functioning and child-parent interactions, as found in previous research, but also for other intimate familial relationships and social ecology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Palsy / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Social Support*
  • Truth Disclosure*