Mental Health and Coping in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Singapore: An Examination of Gender Role in Caring

  • Karen Qian Ping AngEmail author
  • Pek Ru Loh


Research has supported the notion that gender plays a significant role in coping and mental health outcome among parents of children with ASD. The current study aims to examine gender role in the relationship between mental health outcome and coping in parents of children with ASD in Singapore. This study involved 97 fathers and 106 mothers of children with ASD completing self-report questionnaires. MANOVA revealed mothers experienced significantly higher stress levels than fathers. Stress was a significant predictor of depression for fathers but not for mothers. Regression analyses found use of active avoidance coping moderated the relationship between stress and depression in both parents. Implications of these findings on intervention are discussed.


ASD Autism Parents Coping Depression Gender role Singapore 



We would like to thank the participants of the study who had generously devoted their time to take part in this research. We would also like to thank the staff from the various special education schools and intervention centres for their help and support for this study.

Author Contributions

KQPA and PRL contributed conceptually to the design of study and were involved in the analysis and interpretation of the data. KQPA collected the data for the study. Both authors were involved in discussing the findings, and all stages in the manuscript production.


The study is supported by James Cook University Postgraduate research fund.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.James Cook UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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