Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 179–187

Who Participates in Support Groups for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders? The Role of Beliefs and Coping Style

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1561-5

Cite this article as:
Clifford, T. & Minnes, P. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 179. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1561-5


One hundred forty-nine parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) completed online questionnaires measuring their beliefs about support groups and ASD, coping style, social support, mood, and use of support groups. Those currently using parent support groups (PSGs) reported using more adaptive coping strategies than both parents who had never used PSGs and parents who had used PSGs in the past. Past PSG users reported that they did not find the groups as beneficial as current users, and parents who had never participated in PSGs reported difficulties with the accessibility of PSGs. Based on the current results, interventions for parents of children with ASD that are focused on meeting the needs identified by participating parents may be most effective.


Autism Parents Support groups Predictors Group participation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pathways for Children and YouthKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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