Daily Experiences Among Mothers of Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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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.
KeywordsDaily experiences Stress Maternal well-being Adolescents and adults with ASD
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging to support longitudinal research on families of adolescents and adults with autism (R01 AG08768, M. Seltzer, PI) and to conduct a longitudinal follow-up of the MIDUS (Midlife in the US) investigation (P01 AG020166, C. Ryff, PI, and R01AG019239, D. Almeida, PI). The original MIDUS study was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development. Support was also obtained from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for grants P30 HD03352 to the Waisman Center (M. Seltzer, PI) at the UW-Madison and T32 HD07489 to L. Abbeduto, PI.
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