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PERCEIVED SUBJECTIVE WELLBEINGOF PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITHSPECIAL NEEDS

Keywords: perceived quality of life , personal wellbeing index- PW , parents of children with developmental disabilities (motor , psychomotor and intellectual)

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Abstract:

The child with developmental disabilities significantly influences the lives of the other members within the family. Findings in the therapy and rehabilitation of children with developmental disabilities emphasize the importance of the parental role in the support of his/her development. The type of child’s disability is a very important factor, because if the disability requires a high level of dependence on the help provided by the family members, it decreases their quality of life. This study is the first of this kind conducted in Croatia, which investigates an important issue that arises within the families of children with disabilities. Its aim was to evaluate whether the type and level of the child′s developmental disability, affects the parental perceived subjective quality of life. In regards to the limited resources and explorative nature of this study, as well as the legal and social sensitivity of the topic, three subsamples were constructed each containing parents of children with developmental disabilities, which were volunteers and members of parental associations; parents who had child with motor, psychomotor or intellectual disability, respectively. The International Wellbeing Index, IWI, consisting of the Personal Wellbeing Index-PWI and the National Wellbeing Index- NWI, was applied. The obtained results didn't show statistically significant difference between the subsamples of parents. Such results didn’t differ from other study carried out among the general population, but comparison of these results showed more positive subjective wellbeing among the parents, when compared to the results from a study carried out on parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders. Therefore, it can be concluded that the type and degree of child's disability affects the level of perceived subjective wellbeing.

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