Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Family Caregivers, Stress, Social Support, Health-Promoting Self-Care, Facebook

Major Advisor

Sandra M. Chafouleas

Associate Advisor

Lisa M. Hagermoser Sanetti

Associate Advisor

Nicholas Gelbar

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Primary caregivers of children with developmental disabilities (DD) are critical for supporting the development of the children for whom they provide care. In order to most effectively provide care, caregivers of children with DD need to be physically and psychologically healthy. However, caregivers of children with DD can experience challenges in these areas as a result of stress. Health-promoting self-care and social support can mediate the stress process to influence health outcomes. Given that a lack of social support is a barrier to engaging in health-promoting self-care, social support is needed for caregivers to engage in health-promoting self-care and together they are effective in mediating the stress process. However, caregivers of children with DD often experience barriers to receiving social support and engaging in health-promoting self-care and facilitating in-person supports for caregivers is not always feasible. Technology, specifically social media, has shown promise as a mode of intervention delivery. However, there are currently no published studies that have explored Facebook group interventions, which capitalize on social support, that target health-promoting self-care for caregivers of children with DD. The current study employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods design to develop and pilot a Facebook-delivered health-promoting self-care intervention for caregivers of children with DD.