Stress, Coping and Life Satisfaction in parents of children With and without Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

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Giles, Helena
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Raising a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D.) can be stressful for parents. Irish prevalence rates of A.S.D. are 1%. The purpose of the on line study is to investigate differences in levels of stress, coping (active coping & emotional support) and satisfaction with life in parents of children with and without A.S.D. A convenience sample of 80 participants (n=47 parents of child with A.S.D., n=33 parents of child without A.S.D) participated. Parents of children with A.S.D. did not report higher levels of stress, coping or satisfaction with life. Active coping reported higher in parents of a child with A.S.D. Satisfaction with life was reported higher in parents with a child without A.S.D. A statistically significant relationship existed between emotional support and satisfaction with life (r=.32), parental stress and satisfaction with life (r=-.620). The results of a regression indicated that satisfaction with life predicted stress and explained 28% of the variance. Author Keywords: A.S.D., parental stress, coping, life satisfaction social psychology