Little is known about the proportion of mothers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who experience distress, particularly in terms of depressed and anxious moods. The present study aimed to address this issue by examining the level of maternal anxious and depressed moods. The associations between maternal psychological well‐being and self‐efficacy and perception of children’s eating, sleeping and mobility were also examined. The sample comprised 78 mothers (mean age, 37 years; standard deviation, 7.91) of children with CP aged < 16 years of age. Data were collected by self‐administered questionnaires based on standard measures of anxious and depressed moods that were mailed to mothers. Results showed 29.8%, 26% and 11.7% of mothers were at low, moderate, and high risk of clinically anxious mood compared with population female norms of 23%, 13%, and 3%, respectively. A total of 22.1% and 19.5% of mothers were at low and moderate risk of clinically depressed mood compared with norms of 9% and 4%, respectively. Anxious and depressed moods were inversely associated with generalised self‐efficacy (p = 0.001) and anxious mood was inversely associated with children’s sleeping difficulties. In conclusion, levels of maternal psychological well‐being are a cause for concern and warrant exploration of interventions that will reduce maternal distress, and increase self‐efficacy.
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This is an electronic version of an article published in Early Child Development and Care 174 (3&4). Early Child Development and Care is available online at:
- Cerebral palsy
- mother's psychological well-being
- developmental disabilities
- brain damage