Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1279–1294

Quality of life: a key variable to consider in the evaluation of adjustment in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders and in the development of relevant support and assistance programmes

  • Emilie Cappe
  • Marion Wolff
  • René Bobet
  • Jean-Louis Adrien
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-011-9861-3

Cite this article as:
Cappe, E., Wolff, M., Bobet, R. et al. Qual Life Res (2011) 20: 1279. doi:10.1007/s11136-011-9861-3

Abstract

Purpose

Our primary objective was to identify cognitive and behavioural profiles that affect adjustment, in order to make relevant recommendations about support and assistance for parents of autistic children.

Method

One hundred and sixty French parents completed a battery of questionnaires and self-report measures developed or adapted to assess (1) the child and family situations; (2) perceived stress; (3) perceived social support; (4) perceived control; (5) coping strategies; and (6) quality of life.

Results

The psychometric properties of the instruments we used proved to be adequate. Our results support the pre-existing data and our findings may prove to be of interest to clinicians. Our primary finding was that emotion-focused coping strategies seem to be less effective. Parents who employed emotion-focused strategies were more stressed and more disturbed in most parts of their life. They also experienced more guilt and reported more false beliefs about PDD.

Conclusions

Our data underscore the need for psychoeducation programmes for parents, focused on handling stress and emotions, modifying false beliefs and solving the daily problems that arise from PDD. We propose a 5-axis intervention model for parents of children with PDD, based on cognitive–behavioural therapies and on a stress management programme.

Keywords

Quality of life Psychological adjustment Coping strategies Autism spectrum disorders Parent training programme 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Cappe
    • 1
  • Marion Wolff
    • 2
  • René Bobet
    • 1
  • Jean-Louis Adrien
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé, Institut de PsychologieUniversité Paris DescartesBoulogne-BillancourtFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Adaptations Travail Individu—Axe Ergonomie, Centre Biomédical des Saints-PèresUniversité Paris DescartesParisFrance