Stress, Grief, and Resolution: A Group Intervention for Parents Raising a Disabled Child
The birth of a disabled child brings with it many additional stressors for parents, as well as the potential decrease in the quality of their mental health and infant caregiver relationships. Depression and the inability to respond effectively to their child's needs are two such examples of these deficits. Parents rely upon social networks, both professional and family oriented, to manage and adapt this stress. Additionally, parents of disabled children experience a period of grief and mourning when learning of their child's diagnosis. Eventually resolution occurs regarding the distressing thoughts and feelings of the event, however a lack of resolution can jeopardize the development of a securely attached child. The proposed group intervention will aid in the resolution process by providing parents with information regarding parenting strategies and coping skills. Results of the present study are predicted to show that parents participating in the group intervention treatment will experience greater decreases in parental stress and greater increases in parental sensitivity towards their disabled child than parents not receiving the group treatment.