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

  • Autori: Smirni, D.; Carotenuto, M.; Precenzano, F.; Smirni, P.; Operto, F.; Marotta, R.; Roccella, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Background: 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.