Families raising autistic children grapple with stressors created by the child's often-unpredictable course of development that affects resilient family function. To that end, this study used a quantitative, non-experimental study design with 103 married parents (103 fathers, 103 mothers) raising autistic children to identify relationships between stress, father's resilience, mother's resilience, and family resilience employing the Baron and Kenny mediation regression technique. Consistent with family resilience theory, the study results demonstrated that families raising autistic children follow a resilient model. The study results suggest that father's resilience is positively related to family resilience (R2 = .753,p < .001) and mother's resilience is positively related to family resilience (R 2 = .602, p < .001). Likewise, the study results further suggest that as parental stress increases, both father's resilience decreases (R2 = .041,p = .040) and mother's resilience decreases (R2 = .168, p < .001). Equally, the study results suggest that increased stress is linked to decreased family resilience (R2 = .191, p < .001). However, stress does not fully mediate the relationship between father's resilience and family resilience (R = .887, R2 = .787, F (2, 100) = 184. 707,p < .001), or between mother's resilience and family resilience (mother R = .777, R2 = .604, F (2, 100) = 76.182,p < .001). Further, when investigating stress mediation in the combined father and mother resilience and family resilience relationship, stress still did not fully mediate the relationship (R = .623, R2 = 389, F (2, 100) = 31.795,p < .001). This means that stress partly explains the relationship between parent resilience and family resilience, but not entirely. Implications are that parent resilience is correlated with family resilience, even after taking into account how stressed parents feel. Thus, despite being in a stressful situation, the more resilient parents are, the more resilient the entire family unit will be. Therefore, since a parent's resilience and the overall family reliance are strongly positively correlated when accounting for stress levels, the results of the present study suggest that parental resilience be considered when examining family resilience.
|Department:||Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Autism, Family resilience, Parenting stress, Stress mediation|
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