Psychological correlates of parental burnout in hearing mothers of deaf children: personality, satisfaction with life, and posttraumatic growth
How to Cite
A child’s disability is a risk factor for its parents experiencing parental burnout (PB). Here we investigate this problem in hearing mothers of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We look at the psychological dimension of the mothers’ personality in terms of the Big Five model, satisfaction with life (SWL), and posttraumatic growth (PTG). The study takes account of the sociodemographics of the mothers and their children and other factors related to the child’s deafness and their type of hearing assistance. The study was conducted through letters sent to 559 hearing mothers of which 29% responded. Responding mothers completed several questionnaires: the Parental Burnout Measure (PBM-12), International Personality Item Pool–Big Five Markers-20 (IPIP-BFM-20), Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), and a general questionnaire. A VAS scale was used to assess SWL and satisfaction with the child’s rehabilitation.
Results showed that the level of PB the mothers experienced was significantly lower than in mothers of children with non-deafness disabilities. SWL and emotional stability, intellect/imagination, agreeableness, extraversion, and satisfaction with the child’s rehabilitation were inversely correlated with PB, but only SWL and emotional stability were significant PB predictors. PTG in the mothers was at an average level and not correlated with PB. Similarly, the sociodemographic characteristics of mother and child and child’s deafness-related factors were not correlated with PB. Low levels of emotional stability and SWL are associated with vulnerability of the mothers to PB. Our finding of a lack of relationship between PB and PTG suggest that some mothers of deaf children may experience “illusory PTG”, which is related to avoidance-oriented coping strategies including denial coping.