The role of Special Olympics for mothers of adult athletes with intellectual disability
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The role of Special Olympics in the lives of mothers of adult athletes was examined. Forty-six mothers participated in a longitudinal study, completing a parenting stress questionnaire, a measure of their child’s maladaptive behavior, and a survey of athlete involvement in Special Olympics at two time periods, 42 months apart. Results confirm that involvement in Special Olympics is negatively correlated with mothers’ role restriction, isolation, depression, and problems with competence and attachment. Involvement in Special Olympics fully mediated the effect of child social maladjustment on maternal role restriction and depression and partially mediated its effect on maternal problems with competence. Taken together, these findings suggest that Special Olympics can function as a formal support for mothers.