Autism Parenting Stress Index: Initial Psychometric Evidence


Data validating the Autism Parenting Stress Index (APSI) is presented for 274 children under age six. Cronbach’s alpha was .827. As a measure of parenting stress specific to core and co-morbid symptoms of autism, the APSI is unique. It is intended for use by clinicians to identify areas where parents need support with parenting skills, and to assess the effect of intervention on parenting stress. Mean parenting stress in the autism group was four times that of the typical group and double that of the other developmental delay group [F(2,272) = 153; p < 001]. An exploratory factor analysis suggested three factors impacting parenting stress: one relating to core deficits, one to co-morbid behavioral symptoms, and one to co-morbid physical symptoms.

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The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the families and early intervention programs that participated in our research. In addition, we wish to thank the Curry Stone Foundation and Northwest Health Foundation whose generous support made this research possible. Finally, we would like to thank Sharon Kadell, Nancy Ganson and Kristen Gabrielsen for their assistance with data collection and project management.

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Correspondence to Louisa M. T. Silva.

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Silva, L.M.T., Schalock, M. Autism Parenting Stress Index: Initial Psychometric Evidence. J Autism Dev Disord 42, 566–574 (2012).

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  • Autism
  • Parenting stress
  • Validation study
  • Assessment tool