Levels of psychological distress experienced by family carers of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in an urban conurbation

Eric Emerson, Janet Robertson, Justin Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background The aim of the present study was to identify factors associated with the level of psychological distress reported by family carers of children with intellectual disability living in a large urban conurbation. Method Information was collected by postal questionnaire (or interview for family carers who did not have English as their first language) from the family carers of 408 children with intellectual disability (31 % of all children within the area administratively identified as having an intellectual disability). Results Results indicated that 47% of primary carers scored above the threshold for psychological distress on the GHQ and that scoring above the threshold was strongly related to the emotional and behavioural needs of the index child and South-Asian ethnicity and moderately associated with the severity of the child's delay in communication. Conclusions The rates of psychological distress (47% overall, 70% among South-Asian carers) were markedly higher than that found in previous studies of carers supporting a child with intellectual disabilities. It is suggested that these elevated rates of psychological distress may be mediated by socio-economic deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Families
  • Stress

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