Factors affecting the stress responses of mothers who care for a person with severe mental retardation at home : causal analysis using structural equation modeling
Department of Physical Therapy, Aomori University of Health and Welfare
The effects of problem behavior of persons with severe mental retardation at home, caregiver burden and
positive affect of their mothers as the primary caregivers on the stress responses of mothers were investigated.
The results of analysis using structural equation modeling from 20 mothers suggest that problem behavior has an effect on the burden of caregiver mothers and that the care burden enhances stress responses such as anxiety, burnout and depression. These results were confirmed by subjective complaints of mothers obtained from open questions. In contrast, it was also shown that a positive affective state reduced the stress response.
Mothers requested participation in parents' associations and utilized facilities for persons with mental
retardation. It was suggested that these social resources were useful to reduce the caregiver burden and the stress responses and enhance a positive affective state. However, at present, local welfare services mentioned above are inadequate for persons with mental retardation and their mothers. Therefore, the social support system should be promoted in order to meet these social welfare needs of persons with severe mental retardation and their mothers to assist them.