Publication date: July 2019
Source: Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 90
Author(s): Fars Kabiyea, Iris Manor-Binyamini
Although children across the world experience Developmental Disabilities, most research on DD has been conducted using Western cultural perspectives and has primarily focused on mothers, leaving significant gaps in the literature. This study intends to fill some of these gaps by exploring and gaining an understanding of the experiences of fathers raising children with DD. Thus, the aim of this study was: to examine whether stigma, somatization, and parental self-efficacy were associated with stress among Bedouin fathers of adolescents with DD. Besides, the relationship between somatization and stress was examined in this study, as it is mediated by the sense of stigma, as well as the intensity of the mediation of the knowledge of shame, between paternal self-efficacy and stress.
Notably, ninety Bedouin fathers of adolescents with DD completed five questionnaires. These questionnaires included demographic, stigma, parental self-efficacy, and stress and somatization questionnaires.
Significantly, the study findings indicate significant negative relationships between general stress and parental self-efficacy, parental and economic stress and parental self-efficacy, and sense of stigma and parental self-efficacy. Also, the findings indicate significant positive relationships between stigma and anxiety, fear and somatization, and stigma and somatization.
Arguably, concerning the findings of the study, intervention programs that are culturally tailored and that concern cognitive-behavioral foundations are recommended to help fathers cope with their sense of stigma. Further, the intervention programs help to deal with stress and somatization and to increase their understanding of parental self-efficacy in raising their child. Therefore, these cultural intervention programs should take into account the individual and his extended family, and place of the family in his life, considering the cultural values and the honor of the family. Further, the programs should take into account the centrality of religion and an awareness of the impact of the social hierarchy and the status of the fathers in the community and on the child with disabilities. In essence, these areas are focal points of power that can assist in providing solutions for the intervention program. Also, it is essential to refer to the living and economic conditions of this community.