Protective Factors of Mental Health of The Parents of Children with Disabilities

Mirsen Fehratović, Amela Dautbegović, Marija Tiosavljević


When it comes to providing support to children with disabilities, this role is primarily taken over by the family, and above all by the parents. The research was conducted to determine which protective factors of mental health for parents of children with disabilities facilitate their parenting role. The sample consisted of 17 participants, parents of children with various disabilities who filled out an online questionnaire designed for the needs of the research. The questionnaire was intended to assess the protective factors of the mental health of parents of children with disabilities. The results showed that parents experience moderate to high levels of stress when it comes to their parental role, while they emphasize child care as the main source of stress related to the parental role. They point out social support as one of the leading sources of support, much more often relying on informal sources (family members, friends, neighbors). In addition to social support, significant protective factors include faith in God and personality traits such as patience (calmness), perseverance, strength (resilience), optimism, and hope. Destigmatization also stands out as a significant protective factor, ie the parental role is facilitated by the complete acceptance of the child by the environment. Based on the findings, guidelines and recommendations can be formulated for planning and creating a program to provide support to parents of children with disabilities. In this context, various psychosocial support programs aimed at strengthening parental competencies and protective factors that play an important role in preserving the mental health of parents of children with disabilities would be significant.


mental health; parents of the children with disabilities; parenting stress

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