Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 948–956 | Cite as

Well-Being of Mothers of Children with Orthopedic Disabilities in a Disadvantaged Context: Findings from Turkey

Original Paper


Identifying the factors that are associated with well-being of mothers of children with special needs is the first step for developing and implementing relevant social policies. In this research, we focused on subjective well-being of mothers of 105 Turkish children with orthopedic disabilities who came from a disadvantaged background; and investigated its association with child’s health, parental stress, social support, and socio-economic status. Results showed that well-being of mothers was not significantly linked with child’s health; but was closely associated with economic and social factors and stress. The findings are discussed with regard to the challenges of having a child with special needs and the available support systems in developing countries.


Maternal well-being Parenting stress Social support Family health Child disability 


  1. Amiri, M., Afrooz, A., Malahmadi, E., Javadi, S., Nour-allahi, F., & Rezaei-Bidakhavidi, A. (2011). A study of mental health and parenting stress among parents of mentally disabled children. Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 4, 261–268.Google Scholar
  2. Asberg, K. K., Vogel, J. J., & Bowers, C. A. (2008). Exploring correlates and predictors of stress in parents of children who are deaf: Implications of perceived social support and mode of communication. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 17, 486–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baydar, N., Kuntay, A., Goksen, F., Yagmurlu, B., & Cemalcilar, Z. (2008). The study of early childhood developmental ecologies in turkey-wave- 1 results. Retrieved from
  4. Baydar, N., Kuntay, A. C., Yagmurlu, B., Aydemir, N., Cankaya, D., Goksen, F., & Cemalcilar, Z. (2013). “It takes a village” to support the vocabulary development of children with multiple risk factors. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0034785.
  5. Bindoff, H. P., Clifford, C. A., & Young, J. L. (1997). Caregivers of family members with dementia and disability: A comparative study of wellbeing. Journal of Family Studies, 3, 183–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blair, C., Cull, A., & Freeman, C. P. (1994). Psychosocial functioning of young adults with cystic fibrosis and their families. Thorax, 49, 798–802.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brehaut, J. C., Kohen, D. E., Raina, P., Walter, S. D., Russell, D. J., Swinton, M., et al. (2004). The health of primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy: How does it compare with that of other Canadian caregivers? Pediatrics, 114, 182–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Britner, P. A., Morog, M. C., Pianta, R. C., & Marvin, R. S. (2003). Stress and coping: A comparison self-report measures of functioning in families of young children with cerebral palsy or no medical diagnosis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12, 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ceylan, R., & Aral, N. (2007). An examination of the correlation between depression and hopelessness levels in mothers of disabled children. Social Behavior and Personality, 35, 903–908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crnic, K. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (1990). Minor parenting stresses with young children. Child Development, 61, 1628–1637.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis, E., Shelly, A., Waters, E., Boyd, R., Cook, K., & Davern, M. (2009). The impact of caring for a child with cerebral palsy: quality of life for mothers and fathers. Child: Care, Health and Development, 36, 63–73.Google Scholar
  12. Demirsoy, A. D. (1999). The MOS SF-36 health survey: A validation study with a Turkish sample. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey.Google Scholar
  13. Eker, L., & Handan, E. (2004). An evaluation of quality of life of mothers of children with cerebral palsy. Disability and Rehabilitation, 26, 1354–1359.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Faught, J., Bierl, C., Barton, B., & Kemp, A. (2007). Stress in mothers of young children with eczema. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 92, 683–686.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Freshwater, D., & Maslin-Prothero, S. (2005). Blackwell’s dictionary of nursing (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Goudie, A., Havercamp, S., Ranbom, L., & Jamieson, B. (2011). Caring for children with disabilities in Ohio: The impact on families. Unpublished Manuscript.Google Scholar
  17. Green, S. E. (2007). “We’re tired, not sad”: Benefits and burdens of mothering a child with a disability. Social Science and Medicine, 64, 150–163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hanson, M. J., & Hanline, M. F. (1990). Parenting a child with a disability: A longitudinal study of parental stress and adaptation. Journal of Early Intervention, 14, 234–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Henderson, S., Duncan-Jones, P., McAuley, H., & Ritchie, K. (1978). The patient’s primary group. British Journal of Psychiatry, 132, 74–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kagitcibasi, C. (2007). Family, self, and human development across cultures: Theory and applications (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Kazak, A., & Wilcox, B. (1984). The structure and function of social support networks in families with handicapped children. American Journal of Community Psychology, 12, 645–661.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Knestrict, T., & Kucher, D. (2009). Welcome to Holland: Characteristics of resilient families raising children with severe disabilities. Journal of Family Studies, 15, 227–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kohen, D. E., Brooks-Gunn, J., Leventhal, T., & Hertzman, C. (2002). Neighborhood income and physical and social disorder in Canada: Associations with young children’s competencies. Child Development, 73, 1844–1860. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.t01-1-00510.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Lederberg, A. R., & Golbach, T. (2002). Parenting stress and social support in hearing mothers of deaf and hearing children: A longitudinal study. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 7, 330–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lin, S. (2000). Coping and adaptation in families of children with cerebral palsy. Exceptional Children, 66, 201–218.Google Scholar
  26. Lindblad, B. M., Holritz-Rasmussen, B., & Sandman, P. O. (2007). A life enriching togetherness-meanings of informal support when being a parent of a child with disability. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 21, 238–246.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Manuel, J., Naughton, M. J., Balkrishnan, R., Paterson, S. B., & Koman, L. A. (2003). Stress and adaptation in mothers of children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 28, 197–201.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. McCubbin, H., Cauble, A., & Patterson, J. (Eds.). (1982). Family stress, coping and social support. Springfeld, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  29. McKinney, B., & Peterson, R. A. (1987). Predictors of stress in parents of developmentally disabled children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 12, 133–150.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. McLoyd, V. C. (1998). Socioeconomic disadvantage and child development. American Psychologist, 53, 185–204.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Mitra, S., Posarac, A., & Vick, B. (2011). Disability and poverty in developing countries: A snapshot from the World Health Survey (Report No: 1109). Retrieved from
  32. NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2005). Child care and child development: Results of the NICHD study of early child care and youth development. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  33. O’Brien Caughy, M. (2006). Neighborhood poverty, social capital, and the cognitive development of African American preschoolers. American Journal of Community Psychiatry, 37, 141–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Odgers, C. L., Moffitt, T. E., Tach, L. M., Sampson, R. J., Taylor, A., Matthews, C. L., et al. (2009). The protective effects of neighborhood collective efficacy on British children growing up in deprivation: A developmental analysis. Developmental Psychology, 45, 942–957.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Olsson, M. B., & Hwang, C. P. (2008). Socioeconomic and psychological variables as risk and protective factors for parental well-being in families with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 52, 1102–1113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD (2012). Social and welfare statistics. Retrieved from
  37. Palisano, R., Rosenbaum, P., Bartlett, D., & Livingston, M. (2008). Content validity of the expanded and revised Gross Motor Function Classification System. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 50, 744–750.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Pelchat, D., Ricard, N., Bouchard, J. M., Perreault, M., Saucier, J. F., Berthiaume, M., et al. (1999). Adaptation of parents in relation to their 6 month old infant’s type of disability. Child: Care, Health and Development, 25, 377–397.Google Scholar
  39. Pierangelo, R., & Giuliani, G. (2007). The educator’s manual of disabilities and disorders. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Pinderhughes, E. E., Nix, R., Foster, E., & Jones, D. (2001). Parenting in context: Impact of neighborhood poverty, residential stability, public services, social networks, and danger on parental behaviors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 941–953. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.00941.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Public Expenditures Monitoring Platform (2012). Dear parliamentarian. Retrieved from
  42. Resch, J. A., Benz, M. R., & Elliott, T. R. (2012). Evaluating a dynamic process model of well-being for parents of children with disabilities: A multi-method analysis. Rehabilitation Psychology, 57, 61–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Rodd, J. (1993). Maternal stress: A comparative study of Australian and Singaporean mothers of young children. Early Child Development and Care, 91, 41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Russo, T., & Fallen, M. (2001). Helping military families who have a child with a disability cope with stress. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29, 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Skok, A., Harvey, D., & Reddihough, D. (2006). Perceived stress, perceived social support, and wellbeing among mothers of school-aged children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 31, 53–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Sloper, P., & Turner, S. (1992). Service needs of families of children with severe physical disability. Child: Care, Health and Development, 18, 259–282.Google Scholar
  47. Taylor, S. E., Sherman, D. K., Kim, H. S., Jarcho, J., Takagi, K., & Dunagan, M. S. (2004). Culture and social support: Who seeks it and why? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 354–362.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Terra, V. C., Cysneiros, R. M., Schwartzman, J. S., Teixeira, M. C. T. V., Arida, R. M., Cavalheiro, E. A., et al. (2011). Mothers of children with cerebral palsy with or without epilepsy: A quality of life perspective. Disability and Rehabilitation, 33, 384–388.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Trute, B., Worthington, C., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2008). Grandmother support for parents of children with disabilities: Gender differences in parenting stress. Families, Systems, and Health, 26, 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Turkish Statistical Institute (2002). Results of disability statistics. Retrieved from
  51. Turkish Statistical Institute (2010). Results of education. Retrieved from
  52. Wallender, J. L., Pitt, L. C., & Mellins, C. A. (1990). Child functional independence and maternal psychosocial stress as risk factors threatening adaptation in mothers of physically or sensorially handicapped children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58, 818–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ware, J. E., & Sherbourne, C. D. (1992). The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF36): Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30, 473–483.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. White, N., & Hastings, R. P. (2004). Social and professional support for parents of adolescents with severe intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 17, 181–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Worcester, J. A., Nesman, T. M., Raffaele Mendez, L. M., & Keller, H. R. (2008). Giving voice to parents of young children with challenging behavior. Exceptional Children, 74, 509–525.Google Scholar
  56. World Health Organisation. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health: Version for children and youth. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.Google Scholar
  57. World Health Organization. (2006). Constitution of the World Health Organization—basic documents (45th ed.). Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.Google Scholar
  58. Yagmurlu, B., & Sanson, A. (2009). Parenting and temperament as predictors of prosocial behaviour in Australian and Turkish Australian children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 61, 77–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yenturk, N., & Yilmaz, V. (2012). NGO training notes on monitoring disability expenditures. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Zimet, G., Dahlem, N. W., Zimet, S. G., & Farley, G. K. (1988). The multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of Personality Assessment, 52, 30–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKoc UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations