Predictors of family burden in families caring for children with special needs

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Rakap S., Vural Batık M., Coleman H.

Journal of childhood, education & society (Online), vol.4, no.1, pp.56-71, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier


Abstract: Having a child with special needs has a significant impact on family life. While adapting to this new situation, parents often face difficulties related to the care of their children, family relations, and financial situation. The present study examined differences between family burden and spousal support perceived by mothers and fathers of children with special needs and investigated predictors of perceived family burden and spousal support. A total of 394 parents of children with disabilities (197 couples) from a large urban city in Northern Turkey participated in this survey study. Results showed the perceived family burden and spousal support differed significantly between couples. Mothers of children with special needs had significantly higher perceived family burden and significantly lower perceived spousal support in comparison to fathers. Moreover, perceived spousal support significantly predicted family burden perceived by mothers and fathers. Implications in relation to services offered to families of children with disabilities along with the recommendations for future research in this area are discussed.