Stress coping mechanism of parents of severely mentally handicapped adolescents in special schools

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Stress coping mechanism of parents of severely mentally handicapped adolescents in special schools


Author: Chan, Sau-fung Portia
Title: Stress coping mechanism of parents of severely mentally handicapped adolescents in special schools
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Parents of children with disabilities -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychology
Children with mental disabilities -- China -- Hong Kong
Stress (Psychology)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering
Pages: vii, 65, [15] leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: This study attempted to explore the stress level, coping resources, coping strategies, as well as the parental preferences of post-school placement of adolescents with severely mentally handicap in special schools of Hong Kong. Stressors and Perceived Stress Scales (Lo & Shek, 1992) were used to study the nature and extent of stress experienced by the parents. Shek & Mak (1987)'s Chinese Coping Scale (CCS) and the Chinese version of the Mastery Scale were used to assess the parental coping strategies in dealing with child handling problems. All instruments had satisfactory reliability. Purposive sampling was used and a total thirty subjects participated in the study. All the instruments had satisfactory reliability. Interviews, averaging 50 minutes each, were conducted with the respondents. Parents with handicapped adolescents experienced more stress in other psychosocial problems. They perceived hardship in life and experienced low sense of mastery comparatively. They preferred internal rather than external coping strategies. Stressors reported by such parents include: 1) daily care-giving difficulties such as managing health problems, maintenance of hygiene, arranging activities and training. 2) maladaptive behaviors of the handicapped children such as deviant behavior, self-injurious, destructive and peculiar body movement. 3) other psychosocial problems such as lack of private time, worry over the health of the child, worry over the capability of the family and society in caring of the handicapped children. All the respondents reported that they experienced the 'post-school transition trauma' as their children were going to leave school. Moreover, they were concerned on the insufficient post-school placement. The figures showed that most of them would like to seek residential placement for their handicapped children due to their old age and poor health. The findings also revealed that the respondents were generally under-utilizing external coping strategies. The data implied that there is a need to help the parents to build up a supportive social network to reduce the stressors.

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