Autism as a factor affecting family systems : a comparative study of stress, self-efficacy and self-perception

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O'hEadhra, Padraic
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Many factors combine to affect the interactive and interdependent nature of family systems, stress associated with long term care of children with autism has psychological and physiological consequences. The purpose of the study is to investigate differences in levels of stress, self-efficacy and self-perception. A convenience sample of 77 participants were administered a questionnaire. Parents (n=28) of children with autism reported higher levels of stress, and lower levels of self-efficacy and self-perception than parents (n=49) of children without autism. A statistically significant relationship existed between high levels of stress and levels of self-efficacy (r=-.543), global self-perception (r=-.690), job competence (r=-.593) and household management (r=-.419). The results of a regression indicated that five predictors of stress explained 55% of the variance. Author keywords: Autism, family system, stress, self-efficacy, self-perception, Ireland