Financial Hardship and Parenting Stress in Families with Young Children with Autism: Opportunities for Preventive Intervention

  • Christopher J. TrentacostaEmail author
  • Jessica L. Irwin
  • Laura M. Crespo
  • Marjorie Beeghly
Part of the Autism and Child Psychopathology Series book series (ACPS)


Children under age 6 years are especially likely to live in households facing serious financial hardship, and economic strain can increase the amount of stress experienced by parents of young children. Parenting stress and financial hardship are especially salient to families with young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This chapter utilizes Conger and Conger’s (J Marriage Fam 64:361–373, 2002) family stress model to conceptualize how financial hardship and parenting stress can exacerbate behavior problems among at-risk young children. The chapter also summarizes the literature on financial hardship and parenting stress among families with young children with ASD. The chapter concludes with a discussion of screening and intervention strategies to support low-income families with young children with ASD. An established preventive intervention for low-income families with young children is described. The chapter presents possible modifications to this preventive intervention approach to address the psychosocial needs of economically insecure families with young children with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorders Financial hardship Parenting stress Family check-up Young children 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Trentacosta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jessica L. Irwin
    • 1
  • Laura M. Crespo
    • 1
  • Marjorie Beeghly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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