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Structural and Functional Aspects of Social Support for Mothers of Children with and without Cognitive Delays in Vietnam

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Background 

This study reports development of a social support scale appropriate to the Vietnamese culture and the impact of social support on mothers of children with cognitive delays by using the developing scale. Method 

Interview surveys were conducted with 225 mothers of children with and without cognitive delays in Vietnam. The structural and functional social supports were examined in relation to two aspects of stress, parental competence and role restriction. Demographic variables were incorporated in examining the relationships between social support and stress. Results 

The social support scale had adequate reliability and structural and functional aspects comparable to those found in Western societies. Two domains in functional support, material and family-directed support, alleviated stress when controlling for child disability status and sociodemographic variables. Conclusions 

The results showed that informal and functional social support have some effect on maternal stress. However, when other variables were examined in combination, child disability was the strongest predictor of maternal stress.
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Keywords: Vietnam; children with disabilities; cognitive delays; mother; social support; stress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: New York University, New York, NY, USA 2: St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St Marys City, MD, USA 3: Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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