Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Orr, R. Robert,


Psychology, Clinical.




This research focused on the parental stress and the coping of mothers with a son who is trainable mentally retarded and living in the home (n = 18, Group DD). These mothers were compared to a normative group of mothers (n = 12, Group NM) and a group of mothers with sons in treatment for behavior problems (n = 10, Group BP). All of the mothers had a son between the ages of 6 and 12. The groups were compared on the factors comprising McCubbin and Patterson's (1981) Double ABCX Model of Family Adjustment and Adaptation (e.g. stressors, resources, perception of stressors, and adaptation). Subjects were required to fill out a packet of questionnaires which included a demographic questionnaire, The Family Inventory of Resources for Management, The Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales, The Social Support Inventory, and The Parenting Stress Index. Results showed that mothers in Group DD were both similar to and different from the comparison groups. Mothers in both Group DD and group BP generally found the characteristics of their children to be more stressful than mothers in Group NM. Mothers in Group DD also reported that they experienced fewer life stressors, and that their children required more assistance, than mothers in Group BP. Additionally, mothers in Group BP indicated that their children generally had a higher level of affective disturbance and were less reinforcing than the children of mothers in Group DD. Overall, Group DD was not significantly different from the comparison groups on measures of family resources, social support, perception of stressors, and stress related to parental characteristics. In working with families of children who are mentally retarded, service providers may need to be sensitive to these factors and careful not to overgeneralize to this population from experiences of working with other types of children.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1990 .C457. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 52-11, Section: B, page: 6078. Director: R. Robert Orr. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1990.