Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 3434–3447 | Cite as

Supportive Dyadic Coping and Psychological Adaptation in Couples Parenting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Relationship Satisfaction

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


In couples parenting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the partner becomes a primary source of support for addressing the additional parenting demands. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between supportive dyadic coping and parental adaptation, and to assess the mediating role of relationship satisfaction between them. Seventy-six couples parenting children with ASD participated. Data were gathered through self-report questionnaires and an Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model was used. Mothers’ and fathers’ supportive dyadic coping was related to both their own and partner’s relationship satisfaction and parental adaptation. Findings also revealed the mediation role of relationship satisfaction, in the association between supportive dyadic coping and parental adaptation. The implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.


Autism spectrum disorder Dyadic coping Relationship satisfaction Stress Psychological well-being Actor-partner interdependence model 



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

Author Contributions

Every author of the current work has importantly contributed to the design, implementation and drafting of the present research and paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Bioethics Committee for Research of the National University of Distance Education (UNED).

Informed Consent

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
  • Patricia Recio
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology, IMIENSUNED: National University of Distance EducationMadridSpain
  2. 2.Learning Disabilities Unit (UTAE), Neuropediatrics DepartmentHospital Sant Joan de DéuBarcelonaSpain

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