Burden of treatment, emotion work and parental burnout of mothers to children with or without special needs: A pilot study

Yifat Findling, Sivia Barnoy, Michal Itzhaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The psychological phenomenon of Parental Burnout (PB) results from an imbalance between continuous exposure to chronic parenting stress and available coping resources. The study’s aim was to examine relationships between mothers’ perceived burden of treatment and PB, and their ability to utilize emotion work (EW) as a psychological coping resource. Ninety-eight Israeli mothers (46 had children with special needs with disabilities—W-SND, and 52 had children without special needs—WO-SN) completed questionnaires assessing their perception of burden of treatment, EW and PB. According to the findings, mothers of children W-SND reported significantly higher PB, a higher perceived burden of treatment and deeper EW than mothers of children WO-SN. Additionally, among all the mothers, a positive significant correlation was found between perceived burden of treatment and PB, while among mothers of children W-SND, positive correlations were found between their perceived burden of treatment and deep EW, and between deep EW and PB. These findings suggest that among mothers of children W-SND, PB is related to their perception of the burden of treatment and to performing deep EW. Additional psychological, cultural and environmental factors should be investigated, in order to gain new perspectives regarding PB as a psychological phenomenon that affects parenting and the ability to utilize coping mechanisms for mothers generally and for mothers of children W-SND especially.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Caregiver’s burden of treatment
  • Children with special needs
  • Emotion work
  • Mothers
  • Parental burnout

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