Rearing a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a unique challenge for both parents. Previous studies addressed how mothers are affected by the challenges of raising a child with ASD, mostly in terms of stress pattern. In this study, we focused on comparisons between mothers and fathers of children with ASD in parental stress, attitude and mental health. We examined 99 parents of children with ASD using the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, the Parental Style Questionnaire, the Self-Perceptions of the Parental Role and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. The results revealed the gender differences in the parental attitude and mental health. Mothers reported that they engaged in more social behaviors with their children than fathers. In addition mothers reported higher level of depression than fathers. No difference among parents emerged in the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. The results of a multiple regression analysis revealed that parenting distress is associated with depression, balance of parents’ diverse roles in their life and dysfunctional interaction between parents and children. These findings highlight both similarities and differences between mothers and fathers of children with ASD and the existence of a relationship between parental stress, mental health and attitude. Results suggest the importance of developing specific intervention programs which incorporate these fundamental parenting domains.

Ozturk, Y.; Riccadonna, S.; Venuti, P. (2014). Parenting dimensions in mothers and fathers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, 8 (10): 1295-1306. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.001 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/24774

Parenting dimensions in mothers and fathers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Riccadonna, Samantha;
2014-01-01

Abstract

Rearing a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a unique challenge for both parents. Previous studies addressed how mothers are affected by the challenges of raising a child with ASD, mostly in terms of stress pattern. In this study, we focused on comparisons between mothers and fathers of children with ASD in parental stress, attitude and mental health. We examined 99 parents of children with ASD using the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, the Parental Style Questionnaire, the Self-Perceptions of the Parental Role and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. The results revealed the gender differences in the parental attitude and mental health. Mothers reported that they engaged in more social behaviors with their children than fathers. In addition mothers reported higher level of depression than fathers. No difference among parents emerged in the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. The results of a multiple regression analysis revealed that parenting distress is associated with depression, balance of parents’ diverse roles in their life and dysfunctional interaction between parents and children. These findings highlight both similarities and differences between mothers and fathers of children with ASD and the existence of a relationship between parental stress, mental health and attitude. Results suggest the importance of developing specific intervention programs which incorporate these fundamental parenting domains.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Parental stress
Parental attitude
Parental mental health
Settore MED/01 - STATISTICA MEDICA
2014
Ozturk, Y.; Riccadonna, S.; Venuti, P. (2014). Parenting dimensions in mothers and fathers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, 8 (10): 1295-1306. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.001 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/24774
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