Comparing the Parenting Role Tasks in Parents of Children with Mental/Physical Disabilities

Authors

1 Instructor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

2 MSc of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapist in Social Welfare Organization, Mazandaran, Iran.

3 MSc of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, School of Psychology and Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University of Central Tehran. Tehran, Iran.

4 BSc of Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor in Department Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

6 Biostatistician, Department of Statistics, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

7 Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurosciences Research Center, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.

Abstract

Background
The role of parents during childhood is very important. Imbalances in parenting roles may cause severe emotional and physical injuries in children. The current study aimed at comparing parenting role tasks in parents of children who affected to mental/physical disabilities.
Materials and Methods
In the current cross sectional study, the parenting role tasks questionnaire was completed for 230 married couples with at least one child with disability and the parents were selected by convenience sampling method. The parenting role tasks were compared between mothers and fathers. Independent t-test, chi square and analysis of variances was used to compare the scores between fathers and mothers based on studied variables including demographic variables, types of child disabilities and history of trauma and seizure.
Results
Among enrolled children, 49 (21.3%) had mental and 99 (43%) affecting to physical disabilities. A significant difference regarding the parenting role tasks between mothers and fathers; therefore, the mean score of mothers for parenting role tasks was significantly higher than that of fathers regarding different variables such as demographic data, seizure, trauma, and the type of disabilities in the child (P<0.001).
Conclusion
The total score of parenting role tasks questionnaire and scores of its four subscale, including primary cares, leisure time, education and training and improving cognitive level, was higher in mothers than fathers. Our results indicated that the negative effect of children’s disabilities on the balance of parental role and more pressure is bearing by mothers.

Keywords