The effects of familial risk and parental resolution on parenting a child with mild intellectual disability Academic Article uri icon


  • The current study investigated the manner by which family risk moderates the links between parental state of resolution with a child's diagnosis and both parent-child interaction and parental stress. The sample included 72 families with 4-7-year-old children (M=5.53, SD=0.73) diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. Parents reported on their resolution state and parental stress, and parent-child interactions were videotaped and analyzed. Results indicated that in families where mothers or fathers were unresolved rather than resolved, mother-child interactions were less positive only in the context of high family risk. The father-child interaction was not found to be affected by family risk and parental resolution. Interestingly, mothers in low family risk situations who were resolved reported the lowest level of parental stress, suggesting a "double buffer" effect, whereas fathers with high family risk who were unresolved experienced the highest levels of parental stress, suggesting a "double risk" effect.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015