Coping strategies in mothers and fathers of pre-school and school age children with autism

Hastings, Richard P., Kovshoff, Hanna, Brown, Tony, Ward, Nicholas J., Degli Espinosa, Francesca and Remington, Bob (2005) Coping strategies in mothers and fathers of pre-school and school age children with autism. Autism, 9, (4), 377-391. (doi:10.1177/1362361305056078).


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Despite the theoretical and demonstrated empirical significance of parental coping strategies for the wellbeing of families of children with disabilities, relatively little research has focused explicitly on coping in mothers and fathers of children with autism. In the present study, 89 parents of preschool children and 46 parents of school-age children completed a measure of the strategies they used to cope with the stresses of raising their child with autism.

Factor analysis revealed four reliable coping dimensions: active avoidance coping, problem-focused coping, positive coping, and religious/denial coping. Further data analysis suggested gender differences on the first two of these dimensions but no reliable evidence that parental coping varied with the age of the child with autism. Associations were also found between coping strategies and parental stress and mental health. Practical implications are considered including reducing reliance on avoidance coping and increasing the use of positive coping strategies.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/1362361305056078
ISSNs: 1362-3613 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: coping, fathers, mothers, preschool children, school-age children, stress
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Human Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 40187
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:10

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