Although mothers of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience high levels of stress and schools constitute an important resource, the relation remains unknown between maternal stress and educational services. Responding to a national, web-based survey, 965 mothers of students with disabilities completed a 163-item questionnaire about parent stress. We examined which child, parent, and parent–school characteristics correlated with maternal stress. Mothers with lower stress levels reported better parent–school relationships and low levels of parent advocacy. However, lower stress levels were predominantly shown by mothers with good-to-excellent parent–school relationships (vs. poor-to-fair partnerships) and who engaged in virtually no (vs. any) advocacy activities. Lower maternal stress levels were also noted when children had fewer behavior problems, Down syndrome, and did not have autism. Less stress was also reported by mothers who had not enacted procedural safeguards, were minorities, and rated themselves lower on neuroticism and were more extroverted, dependable, and open to new experiences. This study has important implications for practitioners and researchers.

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