Parents of Disabled Children May Have Mental Health Issues

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The parents of disabled children may be more likely to experience depression and memory loss, says research. The demands of caring for a disabled child, including the added stresses and the negative impacts it can have on relationships and careers, are often associated with these disorders.

The adverse cognitive effects can be one of the major costs of caregiving. A study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B involved 640 parents, 128 of which had disabled children.

Results show that parents with disabled children are more likely to have lower cognitive test results.

The parents of disabled children reported more negative parenting experiences, higher rates of cognitive aging (especially among mothers), and almost twice the rate of depression when compared to parents with healthy children.

The root cause may be the added stress of parenting and caring for a disabled child. The researchers noted that those families with supportive networks and higher independence were at far less risk of depression or memory loss.

Source: Psychocgerontology

 
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