Maternal stress in nonverbal learning disorder: A comparison with reading disorder

Kevin M. Antshel, Guy Ronald Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Maternal stress was assessed in mothers of children ages 8 to 11 years with learning disorders (LD). Age-, gender-, and IQ-matched children with reading disorders (RD; n = 31), children with nonverbal learning disorders (NVLD; n - 21), and typically developing control participants (n = 23) participated. Mothers of children with LD reported higher levels of stress, although the specific nature of the stress appeared to vary by disorder subtype: Mothers of children with RD reported higher levels of general distress, whereas mothers of children with NVLD reported higher levels of dysfunctional interactions with their child. The severity of the LD was strongly associated with maternal stress in the sample of children with NVLD but not in the sample of children with RD. In the sample of children with NVLD, the best predictors of maternal stress were 2 variables associated with the child: The lower the child's Performance IQ, the higher the level of maternal stress. Furthermore, the level of the child's internalizing symptoms was also a strong predictor of maternal stress in the sample of children with NVLD. In our sample of children with RD, the 3 best predictors were all variables associated with the mother, including her age, her level of reported psychiatric symptoms, and her overall level of social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-205
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of learning disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • General Health Professions


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