Parental Stress in Raising a Child with Disabilities in India

Vidya Bhushan Gupta, Priyanka Mehrotra, Naveen Mehrotra



Purpose: To determine the parenting stress and its determinants among parents of children with disabling conditions in India.

Methods: The Parenting Stress Index – short form and a few open ended questions were administered to a convenience sample of sixty-six patient families in July, 2009 in the cities of New Delhi and Faridabad regions of Northern India through six non- governmental organizations (NGOs) that serve children with disabling conditions.


Results: Female sex of the child was associated with higher stress related to failure of the child to meet parent’s expectations and to satisfy the parents in their parenting role. Parents engaged in more lucrative and prestigious occupations had more stress than parents engaged in less prestigious and lucrative occupations irrespective of their income. Many parents reported receiving little support from their extended families in taking care of their child. Religion was found to be a common coping resource used by the parents.

Conclusion and Implications: Higher parenting stress in parents of girls raises the possibility of abuse and neglect. Little support from informal family resources underscores the need for developing formal resources for supporting the parents. The specific resources of parenting stress among parents of different socioeconomic status should be explored in future studies so that appropriate interventions can be planned.

doi 10.5463/DCID.v23i2.119


Parenting stress; Childhood disability

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