Increasing numbers of adults with an intellectual disability are being cared for at home by ageing parents, but the data about the quality of life of caregivers of adult offspring are still poor. The aims of this study is identifying risk and protective factors that affect the caregivers’ quality of life, highlighting the differences between mother and father in coping processes and adaptation, with the analysis of the level of perceived well-being, emotional self-efficacy, social support and coping strategies and the mutual relationships among these variables. The study examined 32 married couples (with mean age of 67 years), parents of adults with intellectual disabilities; to the subjects were administered the following self report questionnaires: Satisfaction with Life Scale; Coping Inventory for Stressful Situation; Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support; Self-efficacy Scale in Managing Negative Emotions; Self-efficacy Scale in Expression of Positive Emotions. The data indicate that fathers report a higher level of well-being than mothers; for both parents the level of well-being is positively associated with social support and negatively with age and emotion-focused coping and, only for fathers, also with avoidance-coping. Self-efficacy seems to play slightly different roles in the couple.
Keywords: Caregivers’ well-being, social support, self efficacy, coping strategies