Adaptation to Daily Stress Among Mothers of Children With an Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Daily Positive Affect
- 828 Downloads
Raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder is a challenging experience that can impact maternal well-being. Using a daily diary methodology, this study investigates (1) the relationship between stress and negative affect, and (2) the role of daily positive affect as a protective factor in the stress and negative affect relationship. Results from hierarchical linear models revealed that higher levels of stress were associated with decreased negative affect, both within and across days. Daily positive affect buffered the immediate and longer-lasting negative impact of stress on days of low to moderate levels of stress. Implications of the present study are discussed with regard to theoretical models of positive affect, the development of intervention programs, and directions for future research.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Parent stress Daily diary Positive affect
This research was supported in part by an NIMH training grant (2 T32 HD007184-28) and by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame. We thank the various parent support groups for their help and support in participant recruitment. We are also indebted to the families who gave their time to participate in this research. We also thank Cindy Bergeman, Scott Maxwell, and Julia Braungart-Rieker for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.
- Affleck, G., Tennen, H., Urrows, S., & Higgins, P. (1994). Person and contextual features of daily stress reactivity: Individual differences in relations of undesirable daily events with mood disturbance and chronic pain intensity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 329–340.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Surveillance Summaries. Rep. No. MMWR 2007; 56 (No. SS-1).Google Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention and Treatment, 3, 1–25.Google Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the united states on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 365–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kessler, R. C., & Greenburg, D. F. (1981). Linear panel analysis: Models of quantitative change. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Lazarus, R. S., Kanner, A. D., & Folkman, S. (1980). Emotions: A cognitive-phenomenological analysis. In R. Plutchik & H. Kellerman (Eds.), Theories of emotion (pp. 189–217). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Ong, A. D., Bergeman, C. S., & Bisconti, T. L. (2004). The role of daily positive emotions during conjugal bereavement. Journal of Gerontology, 59B, 168–176.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Taunt, H. M., & Hastings, R. P. (2002). Positive impact of children with developmental disabilities on their families: A preliminary study. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 37, 410–420.Google Scholar