Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 25–34

Coping by Redefinition: Cognitive Appraisals in Mothers of Children with Autism and Children Without Autism


DOI: 10.1023/A:1017999906420

Cite this article as:
Tunali, B. & Power, T.G. J Autism Dev Disord (2002) 32: 25. doi:10.1023/A:1017999906420


To test a model of how mothers cope with the stresses of raising a child with autism (Tunali & Power, 1993), mothers of children with and without autism were interviewed. As predicted, mothers of autistic children: (1) placed less emphasis on career success and were more likely to believe that mothers of young children should not work outside of the home; (2) spent more leisure time with their extended family; (3) placed less emphasis on others' opinions of their child's behavior; (4) placed more emphasis on spousal support and parental roles in their discussions of marriage; (5) had more difficulty understanding their child's behavior; and (6) showed a marginally significant difference in their tolerance of ambiguity. Moreover, mothers of children with autism who showed these characteristics had the greatest life satisfaction overall.

Autism cope cognitive appraisals stress 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HoustonTexas
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullman

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