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Brief Report: Stress and Perceived Social Support in Parents of Children with ASD

Abstract

Previous literature has indicated that perceptions of social support (PSS) may be an important predictor of parental stress levels, particularly for parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The current study implemented structural equation modelling to further investigate the relationship between PSS and parental stress in a sample of 454 parents of children diagnosed with ASD. Results indicate that PSS derived from friends was the most important factor in protecting against stress, with PSS from both a significant other and family appearing to be less pervasive in this regard. In addition, the importance of PSS was further underlined by the finding that it remained a significant predictor of parental stress after controlling for the absence/presence of professional support.

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Authors

Contributions

KD and DC conceived and designed the study, with KD completing data collection and preliminary analyses. DC functioned research supervisor, corresponding author and was primarily responsible for writing and submitting the manuscript. RF conducted the statistical analysis and composed the results section of the manuscript. All authors contributed to responding to peer review recommendations.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dylan Colbert.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest in relation to the current study.

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This current design was approved by the ethical review board of the first and third authors’ affiliated institution and was conducted in line with ethical guidelines as outlined by the Psychological Society of Ireland.

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Drogomyretska, K., Fox, R. & Colbert, D. Brief Report: Stress and Perceived Social Support in Parents of Children with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 4176–4182 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04455-x

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Social support
  • Stress
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Parental stress
  • Professional support