Research Article: Parenting children with autism spectrum disorders the couple’s relationship
Brobst, J., Clopton, J., & Hendrick, S. (2008). Parenting children with autism spectrum disorders the couple’s relationship. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 24(1), 38-49. doi: 10.1177/1088357608323699
Balancing the roles of parent and partner is challenging for most people and may be especially challenging when extra time and effort are required in the parenting role. The current research compared 25 couples whose children have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with 20 couples whose children do not have developmental disorders. Comparisons were made for both stressor (e.g., child’s behavior problems) and relational (e.g., relationship satisfaction) variables. Results indicated that parents of children with ASD experienced more intense child behavior problems, greater parenting stress, and lower relationship satisfaction. In contrast, the two groups of couples did not differ on perceived spousal support, respect for their partners, and commitment. The implications of the findings of this study and other related research are discussed.
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