Brief Report: Stress in parents of adults with intellectual disabilities attending Special Olympics competitions
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Parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities often experience higher levels of child-related stress than parents of individuals without an intellectual disability. The present study examines differences in the degree of maternal and paternal stress found in parents who watch their adult children at Special Olympics competition events compared to parents who watch less frequently. Fifty-seven mothers and 39 fathers completed the Parenting Stress Index (3rd Ed; Abidin, 1995) in reference to their children with intellectual disability, whose ages ranged from 17 to 42.3 years. Also measured were the frequency of parental attendance at competition and whether or not parents volunteered for Special Olympics. Results indicated that mothers and fathers who almost always watched their adult child compete experienced more reinforcement and more acceptability than parents who did not watch with the same frequency. This did not depend on their volunteer membership with Special Olympics, although mothers who had volunteered for the organization reporter more child-related stress than mothers who had not volunteered.
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