Children of Mothers with Intellectual Disability: Stigma, Mother-Child Relationship and Self-Esteem

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Background We investigated mother-child relationships and self-esteem of typical children of mothers with intellectual disability. Methods Eighteen girls and 18 boys from various ethnic groups were administered question-naires to assess: (a) attachment style; (b) caregiver style; (c) perception of maternal stigma; and (d) self-esteem. The children were also asked to list the identities or roles that they play in life. Results Results suggested that: (a) the relationship between the child's perception of stigma and attachment to the mother is mediated by the warmth of the mother's caregiving style; and (b) if the child has an avoidant or anxious/ambivalent attachment to the mother, self-esteem tends to be lower. Furthermore, multiple identities contribute to positive self-esteem among these children. Conclusions Results are discussed in relation to the model presented and the consistency of the findings with attachment theory.



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