Comparing stress levels of parents of children with cancer and parents of children with physical disabilities

Jen Wen Hung, Yee Hwa Wu, Chao Hsing Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Aim: To evaluate whether parental stress differs between parents of children with physical disabilities and parents of children with cancer. Methods: Parents (92 with disabled children and 89 with children with cancer) were recruited to complete the measures of the Parenting Stress Index/Short Form. Results: Diagnostic group differences were found across the parenting stress measures used in this study. The parents of children with cancer experienced significantly higher levels of stress compared with the parents of disabled children. The mean scores of each subscale (PD, PCDI, and DC) and total score scales in both groups approached were above the 90th percentile of Abidin's normative sample (PD = 36, PCDI = 27, DC = 36, Total = 91), except for the PD and DC subscales in the disabled children group, which approached the 90th percentile. Conclusion: The results of the study suggest that most of the parents in our sample should be referred for more indepth diagnostic study and professional counseling in stress management. Therefore, a normative score on the PSI/SF for Taiwanese parents with healthy children should be established to identify whether differences exist between parents whose children are healthy and those whose children have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-903
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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