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The Differential Effects of Social Support on the Psychological Well-Being of Aging Mothers of Adults with Mental Illness or Mental Retardation

Jan S. Greenberg, Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Marty Wyngaarden Krauss and Hea-Won Kim
Family Relations
Vol. 46, No. 4, Family Caregiving for Persons with Disabilities (Oct., 1997), pp. 383-394
DOI: 10.2307/585098
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/585098
Page Count: 12
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The Differential Effects of Social Support on the Psychological Well-Being of Aging Mothers of Adults with Mental Illness or Mental Retardation
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Abstract

Aging mothers of adults with mental illness and aging mothers of adults with mental retardation were contrasted with respect to their levels of stress, social support resources and the extent to which social support was predictive of their level of caregiving burden and depressive symptoms. Although mothers of adults with mental illness had smaller social support networks than mothers of adults with mental retardation, they were more likely to be members of support groups and have at least one friend also caring for a relative with disabilities. In addition, social support was a more prominent predictor of changes in burden and depressive symptoms in mothers of adults with mental illness, suggesting the importance of the social context for their psychological well-being.

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