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Stress, Depression, Anxiety and Somatization among Jordanian Mothers and Fathers of Children with Congenital Anomaly

Dua’a Fayiz Al Magaireh,


Aim (Background): Having a child with congenital anomaly is a very stressful event, it affects the whole family life cycle, due to the critical and permanent needs it might impose. This study aimed to examine the stress levels among Jordanian mothers and fathers of children with congenital anomaly and their relationship to three factors: depression, anxiety and somatization.

Materials and Methods: Across sections survey was conducted at three hospitals in Jordan among 360 married parents of children with congenital anomalies by using  Perceived Stress Scale and Portuguese version of the Brief Symptom Inventory.


Results: Both parents experienced high levels of stress, anxiety and depression . There was a significant difference in stress level between mothers and fathers [t (358) = 3.22, p = 0.001], with the mothers experiencing higher stress than the fathers [mean: mothers=3.88; fathers=2.11].

The correlation between stress levels with anxiety (r=0.763)  and depression (r=0.829) was strong and positive while somatization was moderate (r=0.425).


Conclusion: Parents of a children with congenital anomaly experience high level of stress. Parental stress leads to many psychological problems such as somatization, depression and  anxiety.

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