Research Article: Fathers of Children with Disabilities: Stress and Life Satisfaction
Darling, C. A., Senatore, N. and Strachan, J. (2012), Fathers of Children with Disabilities: Stress and Life Satisfaction. Stress and Health, 28: 269–278. doi: 10.1002/smi.1427
As the role of fathers within families continues to evolve, understanding how these changes impact life satisfaction is needed. This is especially relevant for fathers who have children with disabilities; therefore, this study sought to understand the group differences between fathers of children with and without disabilities. A survey design was used that involved 85 fathers of children with disabilities and 121 fathers of children without disabilities. Analyses indicated that fathers of children with disabilities experienced greater stress in daily parenting hassles, family life events and changes, parenting stress and health stress. In comparison, fathers with children who did not have disabilities had a higher level of coping and greater satisfaction with life. A path-analysis model based on family stress theory indicated that whether or not fathers had children who were disabled was a major contributor to life satisfaction followed by parenting stress and stress from family life events and changes. These findings provide implications for future research and practice.
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