Parents are more involved than ever in the treatment of their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The expectation for parents to carry over child goals from treatment to daily routines, has become the norm. However, the existing literature has found that many parents of children with ASD are under great levels of stress. This can influence parent's ability to effectively participate in their child's treatment program. It remains unclear which factors are the main contributors to stressful experiences for parents. In order to provide the best supports for parents of preschoolers with ASD, it is crucial to identify and address these possible factors. In a preliminary attempt to identify potential factors that contribute to parent stress, 72 parents of preschool aged children with ASD from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut were surveyed to investigate correlations and predictive relationships among the dependent variables of perceived stress and disability stress and the independent variables of parent self-efficacy, belief in the efficacy of the child intervention approach being used, perception of child progress, knowledge of autism, five indicators of program satisfaction: cultural sensitivity, access, appropriateness, participation in treatment, outcome and demographic/treatment specific characteristics. Correlations and hierarchical regression analyses for all dependent variables were conducted. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses indicated that the variables of parent self-efficacy, belief in the efficacy of intervention being used, program satisfaction with access to services and appropriateness of services as well as not participating in a live support group and not using respite services were the best set of predictors for perceived stress. Secondly, it was found that parent self-efficacy, program satisfaction with appropriateness of services, and not participating in a live support group were the best set of predictors for disability stress. Implications for program development and implementation were discussed.
|School:||Teachers College, Columbia University|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Special education, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||ASD, Autism, Parents, Predictors, Preschool children, Stress|
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