Health  Vol.7 No.12 , December 2015
Empirical Study on the Empowerment of Families Raising Children with Severe Motor and Intellectual Disabilities in Japan: The Association with Positive Feelings towards Child Rearing
ABSTRACT
Background: “Children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities” refers to children with markedly limited activity due to severe overlapping of physical and intellectual disabilities. The physical and mental burden placed on families raising severely disabled children, particularly the primary caregivers, is great in home settings. For families to effectively utilize services and over-come child rearing problems, the families themselves need the “strength” to cooperate with others for the purpose of raising a severely disabled child. The ultimate goal of family support is to enable such families to achieve satisfaction and self-growth in child rearing. Methods: We used a questionnaire to survey 75 primary caregivers to empirically elucidate the empowerment and positive feelings towards child rearing of families raising children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities and the related factors. The t-test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient were used to examine the association with bivariates. A multiple regression analysis was conducted for empowerment and positive feelings. Results: Results revealed that life events, livelihood, awareness of social support and the child’s sleep problems were factors related to empowerment. Of these, awareness of social support from outside of the family was found to contribute the most to empowerment. Furthermore, improvement and maintenance of positive feelings towards child rearing reaffirmed the existence of empowerment in addition to reducing negative feelings towards child rearing and ensuring social support. Conclusions: Raising children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities requires specialist knowledge and skills. Support from professionals to empower the entire family is therefore important in order to strengthen positive feelings towards child rearing.

Cite this paper
Fujioka, H. , Wakimizu, R. , Tanaka, R. , Ohto, T. , Ieshima, A. , Yoneyama, A. and Kamibeppu, K. (2015) Empirical Study on the Empowerment of Families Raising Children with Severe Motor and Intellectual Disabilities in Japan: The Association with Positive Feelings towards Child Rearing. Health, 7, 1725-1740. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.712188.
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