The relationship between social support and well-being of parents of children with special needs

Nikki Joan Katsiotas, Fordham University

Abstract

Research suggests that parents of children with special needs require more social support to cope with caregiving demands. However, little is known about how to increase support. The purpose of the study was to conduct an exploratory investigation to determine how to best conceptualize social support for parents of children with special needs and to identify which dimensions of support may be most relevant for interventions. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to investigate the factor structure of perceived social support. The results indicated that tangible support, information support, emotional support, and negative social contact each represented distinct dimensions of social support. Regression analyses were then conducted to determine which dimensions were most relevant to well-being. The results indicated that negative social contact and emotional support had significant direct effects on the well-being variables and emotional support had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between stress and negative affect. Overall, the results suggest that social support for parents of children with special needs is best conceptualized as a multidimensional construct and that negative social contact and emotional support are strongly related to parents’ well-being. The results have implications for future interventions and research. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Special education|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Katsiotas, Nikki Joan, "The relationship between social support and well-being of parents of children with special needs" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10146974.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10146974

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