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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1675–1685 | Cite as

Marital Quality and Psychological Adjustment Among Mothers of Children with ASD: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Relationships

  • Paul R. BensonEmail author
  • Joanne Kersh
Original Paper

Abstract

Using data drawn from a longitudinal study of families of children with ASD, the current study examined the impact of marital quality on three indicators of maternal psychological adjustment: depressed mood, parenting efficacy, and subjective well-being. Multiple regression analyses indicated marital quality to be a significant cross-sectional and longitudinal predictor of maternal adjustment. In the cross-sectional regressions, marital quality negatively predicted maternal depression and positively predicted parenting efficacy, and well-being, while in the longitudinal regressions, initial levels of marital quality negatively predicted maternal depressed mood and positively predicted well-being at follow-up. Longitudinal regression results also revealed that marital quality mediated the relationship between family SES and maternal well-being. Study limitations and implications are discussed.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Marital quality Mothers Psychological adjustment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Special thanks are extended to the parents who participated in this study and to Kristie Karlof, Dorothy Robison, Zach Rossetti, and Melissa Fernandes for their invaluable help in data collection. The research on which this paper is based was supported by the US. Department of Education, Grant No. H324C040092 (A Longitudinal Study of Children with ASD and Their Families During the Elementary School Years).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Center for Social Development and EducationUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Social Development and EducationUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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