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ERIC Number: EJ1179158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0162-3257
Acceptance or Despair? Maternal Adjustment to Having a Child Diagnosed with Autism
Da Paz, Nikko S.; Siegel, Bryna; Coccia, Michael A.; Epel, Elissa S.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v48 n6 p1971-1981 Jun 2018
Psychological adjustment to having one's child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has important implications for a parent's mental health. In a longitudinal study, we examined the association between maternal adjustment to the diagnosis and measures of distress and well-being in 90 mothers of children with autism (baseline and 18 months). We used a novel 30-item scale "Adjustment to the Diagnosis of Autism." Factor analysis identified three dimensions of adjustment: acceptance, self-blame, and despair. Acceptance appeared to be a protective response, as it was associated with lower depressive symptoms, cross-sectionally and over time. Conversely, caregivers with increasing levels of self-blame and despair about the diagnosis over 18 months had worsening of mental health and satisfaction with life during this period.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01AG030424; R24AG048024