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Keywords:

  • quality of life;
  • social support;
  • parenting stress;
  • mothers of children with disabilities;
  • path analysis;
  • South Korea

Abstract

This study examines how different variables affect the quality of life of mothers of children with disabilities. We attempted to identify the relationship between child variables (age and whether the child has single or multiple disabilities), economic variables (monthly income and average monthly treatment cost), mother-related variables (parenting stress) and social variables (social support) as predictors of the quality of life of mothers of children with disabilities, and the path along which these variables affect their quality of life. The dataset comprised 160 mothers of children with disabilities, who resided in Seoul city and Gyeonggi province. The participants answered questions related to their general information, quality of life, social support and parenting stress. The data were analysed using SPSS 17.0 and AMOS 16.0. We found that social support not only influences the quality of life through parenting stress but also is a direct factor. We also found that both whether a child had single or multiple disabilities and the average monthly treatment cost were significant factors that influenced the parent's quality of life indirectly through parenting stress. Moreover, we concluded that whereas the age of children with disabilities is only a direct impact on the mother's quality of life, monthly income has a direct influence on both parenting stress and quality of life separately, but it does not directly influence quality of life through parenting stress. In our opinion, this is the first study that has conducted a holistic analysis of the quality of life of Korean mothers of children with disabilities by considering a range of variables. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.