Help-seeking and personal growth among parents of children with intellectual disability

Catalog # 890-284-2020| Supervised By: Prof. Shirli Werner

This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund

This study focuses the characteristics of help-seeking and the connections between them and personal growth among parents of adolescents and young people with intellectual disabilities or with dual diagnosis. The results of this doctoral dissertation suggest that seeking help and using services are significant factors in the lives of parents of children with ID or dual diagnosis and in their role as main caregivers of their children, and that these factors may promote the parent’s personal growth. Social support plays an important role because it may directly promote growth and because it has been found to be a mediator between parental distress, their children’s emotional, mental or behavioral state and the parents’ personal growth. Intentions to seek help may promote personal growth, but only on if parents eventually do seek help. By contrast, parents’ attitudes toward help-seeking were not found to be a significant factor related to their personal growth or to their actual help- seeking. In general, the findings of the dissertation increase our understanding of factors that may promote personal growth, and promote seeking and receiving help among parents of children with intellectual disabilities or with dual diagnosis. This may enable professionals to facilitate the parent’s role as main caregivers for their children and may help to improve their quality of life.


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Key words

People with intellectual developmental disabilities

Personal growth

Post traumatic growth


Social support

Service use

Dual diagnosis

Shalem Fund study

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