Parental adjustment, marital relationship, and family function in families of children with autism

Susan Shur Fen Gau, Miao Churn Chou, Huey Ling Chiang, Ju Chin Lee, Ching Ching Wong, Wen Jiun Chou, Yu Yu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the psychopathology, marital relationship, and family function in parents of children with autistic disorder (autism) as compared to parents of typically developing children. We also compared these measures between the mothers and the fathers. We assessed 151 families with at least one child with autistic disorder and 113 families of typically developing children in Taiwan. Both parents completed the self-administered questionnaires measuring psychopathology, marital dyadic adjustment, and family function. Both parents of children with autism suffered from more psychopathology and less dyadic consensus than parents of typically developing children; mothers of children with autism, perceived less marital satisfaction, affection expression, family adaptability and cohesion than mothers of typically developing children. We also found that mothers of children with autism displayed more psychopathology and marital maladjustment than did the fathers. These findings highlight that parents of children with autism encounter more psychological problems, marital difficulties and family dysfunction, particularly their mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Family functioning
  • Marital relationship
  • Parental adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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