Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 320–331 | Cite as

The Double ABCX Model of Adaptation in Racially Diverse Families with a School-Age Child with Autism

  • Margaret M. ManningEmail author
  • Laurel Wainwright
  • Jillian Bennett
Original Paper


In this study, the Double ABCX model of family adaptation was used to explore the impact of severity of autism symptoms, behavior problems, social support, religious coping, and reframing, on outcomes related to family functioning and parental distress. The sample included self-report measures collected from 195 families raising school-age children with autism from racially diverse backgrounds throughout the United States. Hierarchical regression results revealed that the Double ABCX model of family adaptation accounted for a substantial amount of the variance in family functioning (28%) and parental distress (46%). Findings suggest that child behavior problems and reframing are most strongly associated with family outcomes. Clinical implications for working with these families, including the use of strength-based approaches, are discussed.


Autism Family adaptation Parenting stress Child behavior Autism severity Double ABCX model Social support Appraisal Coping Diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret M. Manning
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Laurel Wainwright
    • 1
  • Jillian Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.E.K. Shriver CenterUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWalthamUSA

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