Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 69 Issue 1 (March 1996), Pages 1-84

A longitudinal study of the grief of mothers and fathers of children with intellectual disability (pages 33-45)

As a follow‐up to a single‐point‐in‐time study which suggested support for the proposition that grieving is an ongoing feature of parenting children with intellectual disability, the present investigation reports findings based on annual interviews conducted over a three‐year period. Longitudinal outcomes on measures used to define grief largely confirmed the original findings. Of particular interest were (a) indications of the presence of grief over time (b) the finding that the 49 mothers and 49 fathers report similar intensity of continued wishing for what might have been, and (c) the conclusion that the responses of the mothers on the Impact of Event Scale and to current levels of distress when thinking about time of diagnoses are significantly more intense than those of the fathers. Attention is drawn to patterns emerging from gender‐related differences. Resulted are discussed within the framework of four mandates for research and practice, with particular reference to psycho‐educational support through groupwork.

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