Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 144-147

Stress and anxiety in parents of mentally retarded children

Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Bambolim, Goa 403202, India

Correspondence Address:
Mita Majumdar
Preeti Apartments, Flat No. B 2, Vasudha Colony, Alto Santacruz, Bambolim, Goa 403202
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.55937

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Background: Studies comparing the stress perceived by parents of mentally retarded and normal children are limited. Aim: (i) To find whether there exists a difference in the perceived stress between both the parents of mentally retarded children, (ii) to study whether these stresses occur more frequently in parents of mentally retarded children compared with those of normal children, and (iii) to find any correlation between the severity of perceived stressors and the anxiety state of these parents. Methods: This study was conducted in the Child Guidance Clinic of a tertiary care psychiatry hospital. The study sample, comprising 180 subjects, was categorized as: group A (60 parents of profound to moderately mentally retarded children), group B (60 parents of mild to borderline mentally retarded children) and group C (60 parents of children with normal intelligence), which served as the control group. Each parent was evaluated using the Family Interview for Stress and Coping (FISC) in Mental Retardation, and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS). Results: Parents in group A had a significantly higher frequency of stressors and level of anxiety as compared to those in groups B and C. A positive correlation was found between the level of anxiety and stressors. Conclusion: Multifaceted factors made parents in groups A and B more vulnerable to stress compared with parents in the control group.



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