Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp 1036–1043 | Cite as

Parenting stress and affective symptoms in parents of autistic children

  • Yun Gong
  • YaSong DuEmail author
  • HuiLin Li
  • XiYan Zhang
  • Yu An
  • Bai-Lin Wu
Open Access
Research Paper


We examined parenting stress and mental health status in parents of autistic children and assessed factors associated with such stress. Participants were parents of 188 autistic children diagnosed with DSM-IV criteria and parents of 144 normally developing children. Parents of autistic children reported higher levels of stress, depression, and anxiety than parents of normally developing children. Mothers of autistic children had a higher risk of depression and anxiety than that did parents of normally developing children. Mothers compared to fathers of autistic children were more vulnerable to depression. Age, behavior problems of autistic children, and mothers’ anxiety were significantly associated with parenting stress.


autistic children parenting stress mental health parenting stress index 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun Gong
    • 1
  • YaSong Du
    • 1
    Email author
  • HuiLin Li
    • 1
  • XiYan Zhang
    • 1
  • Yu An
    • 2
  • Bai-Lin Wu
    • 2
  1. 1.Shanghai Mental Health CenterShanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institutes of Biomedical SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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