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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 1997–2007 | Cite as

The Power of Positivity: Predictors of Relationship Satisfaction for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Naomi V. EkasEmail author
  • Lisa Timmons
  • Megan Pruitt
  • Christine Ghilain
  • Michael Alessandri
Original Paper

Abstract

The current study uses the actor-partner interdependence model to examine the predictors of relationship satisfaction for mothers and fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Sixty-seven couples completed measures of optimism, benefit finding, coping strategies, social support, and relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that parent’s positive strengths predicted better personal relationship satisfaction. Moreover, parents’ benefit finding, use of emotional support, and perceived social support from their partner also predicted their partner’s relationship satisfaction. The results of this study highlight the importance of focusing on positive factors that can enhance relationship quality. Implications for the development of parent-focused interventions are discussed.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Mothers and fathers Relationship satisfaction Dyadic data analysis Social support Coping Benefit finding 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the families of the Florida Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities for their time.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi V. Ekas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa Timmons
    • 1
  • Megan Pruitt
    • 1
  • Christine Ghilain
    • 2
  • Michael Alessandri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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