Predictors of parental stress in mothers of young children with hearing loss.
This study examined parental stress in 184 hearing mothers of young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Stress levels were measured in three domains using the short-form of the Parental Stress Index (PSI; Abidin, 1995). Mothers in this study demonstrated significantly less parental distress on the PSI than a normative, hearing group, although this difference was quite small. Differences between the hearing and hearing loss samples did not reach conventional levels of significance for the Dysfunctional Parent-Child Interactions or the Difficult Child subscales. An examination of potential predictors of maternal stress revealed that mothers who perceived their daily hassles as more intense also obtained higher stress ratings on all three subscales. Additional predictors of parental distress were frequency of hassles, social support, and annual family income. Increased stress on the Dysfunctional Parent-Child Interaction subscale was predicted by children who had disabilities in addition to hearing loss, more delayed language relative to their chronological age, and less severe degrees of hearing loss. No additional, significant predictors were obtained for the Difficult Child subscale. When all measured variables were controlled for, characteristics that did not predict maternal stress on any of the three subscales included the child's gender, ethnicity, age of identification, mode of communication used, maternal education, and months between age of identification and child age at the time of observation.