Abstract: What Factors Are Associated with Posttraumatic Growth Among Mothers of Children with Developmental Disabilities in South Korea? (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

368P What Factors Are Associated with Posttraumatic Growth Among Mothers of Children with Developmental Disabilities in South Korea?

Friday, January 14, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Sookyung Park, PhD, Professor, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Sung Min Lee, MSW, Doctral Student, Graduate School of Social Welfare, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Background and Purpose

The circumstances which give to birth and raise child with developmental disability may not only be chronic and harsh stressful but also even quite traumatic experience for mothers. Indeed, family of children with developmental disabilities, especially their mothers as primary caregivers experience lots of parenting strains due to communication limitation and challenging behaviors. Also, 65.3% of adults with intellectual disabilities, 82.9% of adults with autistic disabilities reported to be needed help from others in their daily life in South Korea.

Thus, previous studies have mainly focused the negative outcomes due to giving birth or raising child with disability but recent research have become to pay more attention that parenting experiences may act as the potential power for positive aspects in their mothers.

As PTG may act as positive psychological change result from difficult life circumstances or trauma, furthermore lead to positive outcomes, it is very important when designing effective intervention strategy for the higher level of quality of life to identify predictors of PTG in mothers. However, little is known about what factors predict PTG among their mothers. Thus, this study aimed to explore potential factors associated with PTG among their mothers.


We collected data in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon provinces of South Korea from November 2017 to July 2018. Of 400 parents who live with their children, we selected and analyzed mothers of 344 cases. This study is permitted by Institute Review Board of author's University. We divided the PTG into four sub-dimensions (change of self-perception, the increase of interpersonal depth, finding new possibilities, an increase of spiritual interest) and identified predictors of PTG by using hierarchical multiple regression. In the initiation analysis, we put mother, child characteristics, and caregiving strain. For the second analysis, we added formal/informal social support. the analyses were performed based on four sub-scales of PTG respectively.


As for sub dimensions of PTG, change of self-perception was associated with religion (β = .144, p < .01), subjective strain (β = -.282, p< .001), use of family support service, family support (β =.163, p< .01), significant others support (β =.183, p< .05), they accounted for 28.9% of PTG. Increase of interpersonal depth was associated with religion (β =.219, p< .001), use of family support service (β = .139, p< .01), friends (β = .163, p< .01), significant others support (β = .186, p< .05), they accounted for 33.9%. Finding new possibilities was associated with only use of family support service (β =.134, p< .05), it accounted for 16.3%. Increase of spiritual interest also was associated with religion (β =.589, p< .001), it accounted for 39.5%.

Conclusion and Implications

Our findings suggest that policymakers and practitioners need to design intervention strategies that mothers may reduce subjective burden and ensure various supportive resources, especially other support resources such as the support of other mothers in similar situations or professionals.