Psychology Research and Behavior Management (Jul 2019)

Memory performances and personality traits in mothers of children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

  • Smirni D,
  • Carotenuto M,
  • Precenzano F,
  • Smirni P,
  • Operto FF,
  • Marotta R,
  • Roccella M

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 12
pp. 481 – 487


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Daniela Smirni*,1, Marco Carotenuto*,2, Francesco Precenzano,2 Pietro Smirni,3 Francesca Felicia Operto,4 Rosa Marotta,5 Michele Roccella11Department of Psychology, Educational Science and Human Movement, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 2Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, Università Degli Studi Della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy; 3Department of Educational Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 4Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy; 5Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Graecia”, Catanzaro, Italy*These authors contributed equally to this workBackground: Chronic diseases in pediatric age have been identified as stressful risk factors for parents. Studies on caregivers have documented the impact of chronic parenting stress on emotion and cognition.Aim: To investigate the differences between a group of mothers of children affected by obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) for at least 4 years and a group of mothers of typically developing children (TDC) in relation to parental stress, self-esteem, locus of control, and memory performances.Methods: A group of 86 mothers (mean age 35.6±4.9, ranged between 32 and 41 years) of children with OSAS diagnosis, and a group of 52 mothers of TDC (mean age 35.9±4.2, ranged between 32 and 41 years) participated in the study. All participants were administered stress level, global self-esteem, internal/external locus of control scales, and memory assessment.Results: Mothers of OSAS children, compared to mothers of TDC, had a significantly higher level of stress, lower self-esteem, more external locus of control and poorer memory performance.Conclusions: The child respiratory disease, with its sudden and unpredictable features, appeared as a significant source of stress for the mother. Such stress condition may have an impact on mothers’ personality traits (self-esteem, locus of control) and on their memory performances. The data have suggested a need for psychological support programs for mothers to better manage stress associated with children’s respiratory disease.Keywords: parental stress, memory performances, self-esteem, locus of control