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The construct of maternal positivity in mothers of children with intellectual disability

Jess, M; Hastings, RP; Totsika, V; (2017) The construct of maternal positivity in mothers of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research , 61 (10) pp. 928-938. 10.1111/jir.12402. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite the elevated levels of stress, anxiety and depression reported by mothers of children with intellectual disabilities (ID), these mothers also experience positive well‐being and describe positive perceptions of their child. To date, maternal positivity has been operationalised in different ways by using a variety of measures. In the present study, we tested whether a latent construct of maternal positivity could be derived from different measures of positivity. METHOD: One hundred and thirty‐five mothers of 89 boys and 46 girls with ID between 3 and 18 years of age completed measures on parental self‐efficacy, their satisfaction with life, family satisfaction, their positive affect and their positive perceptions of their child with ID. We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis of latent positivity and subsequently tested its association with child social skills and behaviour problems, and maternal mental health. RESULTS: A latent maternal positivity factor achieved a statistically good fit by using the five observed indicators of positivity. Parental self‐efficacy had the strongest loading on the latent factor. Maternal positivity was significantly negatively associated with maternal psychological distress, maternal stress and child problem behaviours and positively associated with child positive social behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: These findings lend support to the importance of examining parental positivity in families raising a child with ID, and using multiple indicators of positivity. Associations with negative psychological outcomes suggest that interventions focused on increasing parental positivity may have beneficial effects for parents. Further research is needed, especially in relation to such interventions.

Type: Article
Title: The construct of maternal positivity in mothers of children with intellectual disability
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jir.12402
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12402
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: confirmatory factor analysis, families, positivity, self-efficacy, structural equation modelling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120936
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