Emotional burdens and sense of support of Kuwaiti mothers of children with disabilities
Raising children with disabilities (CDs) is particularly difficult in Kuwait, where mothers and children alike are often cut off and isolated from traditional support systems (Al-Kandari & Al-Qashan, 2010). This isolation makes it difficult to obtain information and resources and may critically affect both maternal and child emotional well-being. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of Kuwaiti mothers towards their children, as well as the interaction between the mother, her family, her community, and the government. This study frames the boundaries of its research within the theoretical concepts of Bowlby’s Attachment Theory and Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory.
Multiple linear regression and simple qualitative analyses were used to address the two research questions and four hypotheses. A total of 85 mothers of a CD completed their respective surveys. Findings revealed that emotional burdens and sense of support were not independently associated with mother-child attachment relationship. However, emotional burdens significantly predicted social isolation, which in turn significantly predicted attachment relationship. In addition, emotional burdens significantly predicted self-efficacy, which in turn predicted attachment relationship. Via open-ended answers, mothers reported that they receive some support from family, community, and government, but that they also desire more support from these sources. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are also discussed.