Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The main objectives of this study were: (1) to compare quantitatively the degree of psychological distress in parents of infants with Down syndrome to that in parents of infants without developmental delay, and (2) to determine to what extent the use of self-deception and cognitive approach and avoidance affected psychological distress. Psychological distress was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Profile of Mood States (POMS), and the intrusion subscale of the Impact of Event Scale. Cognitive processes were measured using the Miller Behavioural Style Scale, the Approach Avoidance Scale, and the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. Results of multivariate analysis of variance indicated that intrusive thoughts and depression were significantly greater in the study group than in the control group consistent with the hypothesis of greater psychological distress in the study group. However comparison with available normative samples indicated that the amount of distress observed in the study parents was quite modest. Avoidance and to a lesser extent approach affected distress but there was no significant interaction indicating that these two cognitive strategies acted independently. Self-deception was significantly negatively correlated with distress suggesting that this cognitive process can ameliorate distress. Depression was significantly greater in females than in males for both control and study groups and this may have been due to greater approach in mothers compared to fathers. These findings are relevant to the identification of parents at risk for marked psychological distress when faced with the stressor of a child with Down syndrome and of matching type of service provided to such parents with their preferred coping strategy.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1988 .S368. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 50-03, Section: B, page: 1122. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1988.