Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1547–1554 | Cite as

Fatigue, Stress and Coping in Mothers of Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Monique SeymourEmail author
  • Catherine Wood
  • Rebecca Giallo
  • Rachel Jellett
Original Paper


Raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be exhausting, which has the potential to impact on parental health and wellbeing. The current study investigated the influence of maternal fatigue and coping on the relationship between children’s problematic behaviours and maternal stress for 65 mothers of young children (aged 2–5 years) with ASDs. Results showed that maternal fatigue but not maladaptive coping mediated the relationship between problematic child behaviours and maternal stress. These findings suggest child behaviour difficulties may contribute to parental fatigue, which in turn may influence use of ineffective coping strategies and increased stress. The significance of fatigue on maternal wellbeing was highlighted as an important area for consideration in families of children with an ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder Fatigue Maladaptive coping Child problematic behaviours Maternal stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Seymour
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Catherine Wood
    • 1
  • Rebecca Giallo
    • 2
  • Rachel Jellett
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Life and Social ScienceSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  2. 2.Parenting Research CentreEast MelbourneAustralia

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