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ERIC Number: ED553802
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 229
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-1003-0
The Influence of Daily Stressors, Severity of Behavior Problems, Uncertainty, and Coping Strategies on Family Adaptation in Families of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
O'Brien, Sandra L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Catholic University of America
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is rising exponentially. U.S. public health authorities report a 78% increase in ASD prevalence rate during the period (2002-2008), effecting 1 child in 50. Families of adolescents with ASD face the complex task of managing their children's transition into adulthood. Complicating this task is the limited information available to guide families of adolescents with ASD and to guide supportive resource personnel, including nurses. Utilizing McCubbin's (2003) Resiliency Model of Family Adjustment and Adaptation, this study investigated the influence of four independent variables: a) daily stressors, b) severity of behavior problems, c) uncertainty, and d) coping on the dependent variable of family adaptation. Participants (103) were recruited from the web-based Interactive Autism Network and met the criteria: a biological or adoptive parent, stepparent, partner of a parent, or custodial grandparent of an adolescent, aged 13 to 22, diagnosed with ASD. This study employed a prospective, descriptive, correlational design. Parents completed five research instruments and a background information questionnaire, using an on-line methodology. Multiple regression analysis was conducted and the appropriate statistics were reported. The study found that three of the four independent variables had a statistically significant independent relationship with the dependent variable of family adaptation when each variable entered the model: a) daily stressors [F (3,99) = 7.3, p = 0.008] accounted for 6.8% of the variance in family adaptation, b) the severity of behavior problems [F (4, 98) = 6.5, p = 0.012] contributed 5.8% to the variance in family adaptation, c) and parent's perception of their adolescent with ASD's disability [F (5, 97) = 7.6, p = 0.007] contributed 6.3% to the variance in family adaptation when it entered the model. The full model was statistically significant [F (6, 96) = 4.2, p = 0.001] and the combination of independent variables explained 20.8% of the variance in family adaptation. This study supports qualitative research with parents of adolescents with ASD, who report concerns of uncertainty regarding their adolescents with ASD's future and unpredictability of behavioral symptoms. Because this is the first quantitative study with such findings, additional research is recommended. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A