Social support and coping strategies of parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder
Pepperell TA, Paynter J, Gilmore L.
ABSTRACT: The current study sought to explore the psychological and social needs of parents within the same family unit raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mothers (N = 10) and fathers (N = 9) of children with ASD attending an early intervention centre completed a semi-structured interview investigating their experiences of raising a child with ASD. Both genders reported adopting problem-focused coping strategies, engaging in ‘me time’ activities, and disengaging from a stressor in an effort to cope. More mothers reported engaging in emotion-focused strategies and accessing social support for emotional and practical support. The presence of traditional gender roles emerged as a potentially significant factor in understanding how mothers and fathers adopt different types of coping strategies