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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 629–642 | Cite as

The Impact of Parenting Stress: A Meta-analysis of Studies Comparing the Experience of Parenting Stress in Parents of Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Stephanie A. HayesEmail author
  • Shelley L. Watson
Original paper

Abstract

Researchers commonly report that families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience more parenting stress than families of typically developing (TD) children or those diagnosed with other disabilities [e.g., Down syndrome (DS), cerebral palsy, intellectual disability]. The authors reexamined the research using comparison groups to investigate parenting stress and conducted a meta-analysis to pool results across studies. The experience of stress in families of children with ASD versus families of TD children resulted in a large effect size. Comparisons between families of children of ASD and families with other disabilities also generated a large effect size however, this result should be interpreted with caution as it may be associated with the specific experience of parenting a child with DS.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Parenting stress Family Meta-analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge funding received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This paper was submitted as partial requirement for the first author’s Master’s degree. The first author would also like to thank Dr. Andy Field for his fantastic statistics website and resources.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Laurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

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