Self-Compassion in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Analysis
Gal Bohadana, Shirley Morrissey & Jessica Paynter
Abstract: Emerging quantitative research found self-compassion to be a unique predictor of parental stress in parents of children with ASD above other predictors. However, research on the lived experience of self-compassion in families of children with ASD is limited. Using a qualitative thematic analysis approach, 19 mothers of children with ASD with a mean age of 39.19 years (SD = 3.56, Range = 31.00–50.00 years) were interviewed about their lived experiences of stress and self-compassion. Themes derived from interviews include: the impact and causes of stress, benefits of self-compassion, barriers to self-compassion, and aids to self-compassion. The findings deepen our understanding of the experience of self-compassion in this population. Limitations and future directions are discussed.