Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


This was an intervention research aimed at reducing stress levels of parents of children with disabilities is limited. The purpose of this study was to introduce an occupational therapy led pilot support group for parents who have a child with a disability and improve parent’s abilities to manage stress levels. This quantitative study utilized the Parental Stress Scale (PSS) to assess parental stress at baseline and upon completion of the four support group sessions. There were six participants in the support group meeting the inclusion criteria. The objective of this non-blinded study was to reduce stress for parents who have a child with a disability using a support group incorporating an occupational therapy approach. Parents committed to attending a minimum of three out of four sessions. 5 out of the 6 participants had a decrease in their individual score as per the PSS from pre-to-post-test. The results of the t-test comparing mean for total participants pre and post scores resulted in a p-value = 0.014. The results of this pilot study demonstrate that participation in the four support group sessions effectively reduced self–reported stress as measured by the PSS These findings suggest that utilizing meaningful and engaging activities, peer support groups led by an occupational therapist, can lead to reductions in perceived stress among parents who have a child with a disability. Importantly, by incorporating an occupational therapy approach parent can develop stress management skills that can potentially aid them in establishing greater occupational balance.

Faculty Mentor

Leslie J. Hardman

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Geela Spira

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)