ERIC Number: EJ1179158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
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.
Descriptors: Mothers, Emotional Adjustment, Life Satisfaction, Mental Health, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Clinical Diagnosis, Longitudinal Studies, Correlation, Measures (Individuals), Case Studies, Factor Analysis, Psychological Patterns, Mother Attitudes, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Well Being, Emotional Disturbances
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01AG030424; R24AG048024