Depression among parents of children with disabilities

Resch JA, Elliott TR, Benz MR.  Center on Disability and Development, Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.  Fam Syst Health. 2012 Dec;30(4):291-301. doi: 10.1037/a0030366. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

We examined the rate of depression among 110 parents of children with disabilities and tested a model to determine the unique factors associated with parental depression. Consenting parents completed measures of depression, family satisfaction, physical health, problem-solving abilities, stress appraisals, and child functional impairment. Participants were categorized as depressed or nondepressed based on their responses to the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9; Kroenke, Spitzer, & Williams, 2001). Nineteen percent of the parents met screening criteria for depression. Regression analyses revealed that threat appraisals, poorer physical health, and lower family satisfaction were uniquely associated with depression status with 83.3% accuracy. These findings highlight the importance of family satisfaction, problem solving ability, physical health, and the influence of appraisal processes on depression among parents of children with disabilities.