Linking parents' self-stigma to the adjustment of children with disabilities

Xiaomin LI, Chun Bun Ian LAM, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Cynthia LEUNG

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16 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the association of parental self-stigma with child adjustment, and whether parenting self-efficacy and parenting distress mediated the association. Cross-sectional data were collected from 186 families living with kindergarten children identified to have disabilities in Hong Kong, China (mean age = 61.62 months; 76% of them were boys). Using questionnaires, 173 mothers and 112 fathers reported their own self-stigma, parenting self-efficacy, and parenting distress, as well as their children's prosocial behaviors and externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Multigroup, path analyses revealed a group-invariant model for both mothers and fathers. Controlling for children's gender and age, parents' self-stigma was linked to fewer prosocial behaviors and more externalizing and internalizing behaviors among children. Moreover, such links were partially mediated by parenting self-efficacy, but not parenting distress. Theoretically, the findings highlighted the importance of considering family processes when examining the potential impact of parental self-stigma on child adjustment. Practically, the findings pointed to the utility of helping both mothers and fathers to deal with public stigma and increase their parenting self-efficacy in supporting the development of children with disabilities. Copyright © 2019 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number2
Early online dateJan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Li, X., Lam, C. B., Chung, K. K. H., & Leung, C. (2019). Linking parents' self-stigma to the adjustment of children with disabilities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(2), 212-221. doi: 10.1037/ort0000386


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