Linking maternal caregiving burden to maternal and child adjustment: Testing maternal coping strategies as mediators and moderators

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Abstract

This study examined the links between maternal caregiving burden and maternal and child adjustment, and whether these links were mediated and moderated by maternal coping strategies. Cross-sectional data were collected from 173 Chinese families with kindergarten aged children with special needs in Hong Kong, China (mean age = 61.53 months; 72% of them were boys). Using questionnaires, mothers rated their caregiving burden, use of different coping strategies, and the adjustment of themselves and their children with special needs. Results demonstrated that maternal caregiving burden was negatively associated with maternal and child adjustment. Moreover, the associations of maternal caregiving burden with maternal life satisfaction and depression were partially mediated by maternal planful problem solving, positive reappraisal, and seeking emotional support, whereas the association between maternal caregiving burden and child prosocial behaviors was partially mediated by maternal positive reappraisal. There was little evidence, however, for the moderating effects of maternal coping strategies. Theoretically, our findings highlighted the role of parental coping in understanding the mechanism through which parental caregiving burden may affect the adjustment of both parents and their children. Practically, our findings pointed to the utility of supporting parents of children with special needs by reducing their caregiving burden and increasing their use of specific coping strategies. Copyright © 2019 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Early online date19 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2019

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Social Adjustment
Mothers
Parents
Child Behavior
Hong Kong
China

Citation

Li, X., Lam, C. B., & Chung, K. K. H. (2019). Linking maternal caregiving burden to maternal and child adjustment: Testing maternal coping strategies as mediators and moderators. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10882-019-09694-0

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Caregiving burden
  • Chinese families
  • Coping
  • Special needs