Religiosity/Spirituality and Mental Health Outcomes in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Mediating Role of Positive Thinking
This study examines associations between dimensions of religiosity/spirituality (R/S) and anxiety symptoms in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mothers’ positive ways of thinking and romantic relationship satisfaction were examined as mediators of associations. The extent to which child ASD symptom severity and maternal broad autism phenotype (BAP) behaviors predicted interactions with religious community members was also examined. Seventy-three Christian mothers of a child with ASD completed online surveys. Higher levels of spirituality were associated with viewing their child with ASD as providing a positive contribution to the family. These positive views were, in turn, associated with less anxiety symptoms. Mothers of children with more severe ASD symptoms also reported greater negative interactions with members of their congregation.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Mothers Religion Spirituality Mental health
This research was supported by the Research and Creative Activities Fund at Texas Christian University.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Texas Christian University #IRB-14045-146) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Information consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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