A Comparative Study of Stress and Adjustment Problems among Mothers having and not having Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Author: Nazia Siddique

Supervisor: Ms. Masha Maqbool

Degree: MS

Year: 2008-2010

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


This study examined stress and adjustment problems in mothers of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (FDD) and with normal children. A purposive sample of 132 mothers of PDD children (Clinical group, n=66) and mothers of normal children (Normal group, n= 66) were included in study. Mothers of PDD children were recruited from 6 different institutions/ centers/schools for mentally handicapped children. Mothers of normal children were taken from 6 different normal schools. Data was collected by administering a Demographic Questionnaire, Parental Stress Index and Bell’s Adjustment Inventory. Cross Sectional Research Design was used. Independent sample t test, repeated measures ANOVA and descriptive statistical procedures were used. Results showed that mothers of PDD children had more emotional adjustment problems, health adjustment problems, social adjustment problems and parental stress as compared to normal group. Conversely, there was no difference in mothers on home adjustment between the two groups. Separate repeated measures ANOVA for clinical and normal group revealed that adjustment problems in both groups were significant. Bonferroni analysis revealed that in clinical group emotional adjustment problems and social adjustment problems were reported more by the mothers of PDD children, whereas in normal group mothers reported more home adjustment problems. These findings have clear implications for intervention with mothers of PDD children especially through Cognitive Behavioral Management. Future studies need to focus on parental counseling especially regarding the long term rehabilitation of the child.

Keywords: Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Emotional, Social, Adjustment.

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