Atopic Eczema and Stress among Single Parents and Families: An Empirical Study of 96 Mothers
Uwe Gieler, Stefanie Schoof, Tanja Gieler, Sibylle Scheewe, Christina Schut, Jörg Kupfer
This study investigated the extent to which single mothers of children with atopic eczema experience disease-related stress. A total of 96 mothers were divided into 4 groups: mothers living with a partner, who had or did not have a child with atopic eczema, and single mothers, who had or did not have a child with atopic eczema. The following questionnaires were used to assess psychological burden: Short Stress Questionnaire (Kurzer Fragebogen zur Erfassung von Belastung; KFB), Satisfaction with Life Questionnaire (Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit; FLZ), General Depression Scale (Allgemeine Depressions-Skala; ADS), and the Questionnaire for Parents of Children with Atopic Eczema (Fragebogen für Eltern von Neurodermitis kranken Kindern; FEN). Single mothers had higher levels of helplessness and aggression due to their child’s scratching behaviour than did mothers living with a partner and a child with atopic eczema. Single mothers of children with atopic eczema had the highest scores regarding experienced stress in the family and the lowest scores concerning general life satisfaction. Special care should be provided for single mothers with higher stress, in order to teach them how to deal with the scratching behaviour of their children.