The Association Between Mental Health, Stress, and Coping Supports in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
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- Zablotsky, B., Bradshaw, C.P. & Stuart, E.A. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 1380. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1693-7
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Raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be a stressful experience for parents. When left unmanaged, high stress levels can lead to the development of depressive symptomatology, highlighting the importance of coping supports. The current paper examined the stress level and psychological wellbeing of mothers with a child with ASD in a national survey. After adjusting for child, mother and family level characteristics, it was determined that mothers of children with ASDs were at greater risk for poor mental health and high stress levels compared to mothers of children without ASDs. The presence of maternal coping strategies, in the form of emotional and neighborhood social supports, as well as strong coping skills, reduced these risks between models.