Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2385–2398 | Cite as

Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor–Partner Interdependence Model

  • Cristina García-LópezEmail author
  • Encarnación Sarriá
  • Pilar Pozo
Original Paper


Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor–partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other’s psychological adaptation. The sample includes 76 Spanish couples who completed validated questionnaires measuring predictors, i.e., self-efficacy and positive contributions, and adaptation outcomes i.e., stress, anxiety, depression and psychological well-being. Multilevel analysis revealed many actor and some partner effects of parental self-efficacy and positive contributions to be important determinants of adaptation above and beyond child and sociodemographic factors, and as such, these effects should be targeted in clinical intervention programs.


Autism spectrum disorder Parental self-efficacy Positive contributions Actor–partner interdependence model Psychological adaptation 



We are extremely grateful to all the families who generously participated in this study, as well as to the Learning Disabilities Unit at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Parent and Professional Associations of Autism and the education centers who took part in this research, for facilitating the recruitment process.

Author Contributions

Every author of the manuscript has made substantial contributions to all of the following aspects of the work: conception and design, analysis and interpretation of the data, drafting and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, and approval of the final submitted version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval and Informed Consent

This study was approved by the Bioethics Committee for Research of the National University of Distance Education (UNED). Written informed consent was obtained from both parents, and participants were guaranteed anonymity and confidentiality.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina García-López
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Encarnación Sarriá
    • 1
  • Pilar Pozo
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUNED: National University of Distance EducationMadridSpain
  2. 2.Learning Disabilities Unit (UTAE), Neuropediatrics DepartmentHospital Sant Joan de DéuBarcelonaSpain

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