, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 879-890
Date: 25 Sep 2010

Stress and Personal Resource as Predictors of the Adjustment of Parents to Autistic Children: A Multivariate Model

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Abstract

The research validates a multivariate model that predicts parental adjustment to coping successfully with an autistic child. The model comprises four elements: parental stress, parental resources, parental adjustment and the child’s autism symptoms. 176 parents of children aged between 6 to 16 diagnosed with PDD answered several questionnaires measuring parental stress, personal resources (sense of coherence, locus of control, social support) adjustment (mental health and marriage quality) and the child’s autism symptoms. Path analysis showed that sense of coherence, internal locus of control, social support and quality of marriage increase the ability to cope with the stress of parenting an autistic child. Directions for further research are suggested.

The research reported here served as part of the first author’s dissertation, supervised by the second author, submitted to the School of Education Bar Ilan University Israel, in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Ph.D.