Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 167-178

First online:

Daily Experiences Among Mothers of Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Leann E. SmithAffiliated withWaisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison Email author 
  • , Jinkuk HongAffiliated withWaisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • , Marsha Mailick SeltzerAffiliated withWaisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • , Jan S. GreenbergAffiliated withWaisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • , David M. AlmeidaAffiliated withPennsylvania State University
  • , Somer L. BishopAffiliated withWaisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In the present study, 96 co-residing mothers of adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated in an 8-day diary study and reported on their daily experiences. In comparison with a nationally representative sample of mothers of children without disabilities, mothers of adolescent and adult children with ASD spent significantly more time providing childcare and doing chores, and less time in leisure activities. Fatigue, arguments, avoided arguments, and stressful events were also more common among mothers of individuals with ASD. However, mothers of individuals with ASD reported similar levels of positive interactions and volunteerism as the comparison group. Daily experiences were subsequently related to well-being in both groups. These findings highlight the need for family support services.


Daily experiences Stress Maternal well-being Adolescents and adults with ASD