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Empirical validation of a model predicting depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of children with autism

Bones, S, Norris, K ORCID: 0000-0003-3661-2749 and Quinn, M ORCID: 0000-0001-8858-6242 2019 , 'Empirical validation of a model predicting depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of children with autism' , Clinical Psychologist , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1111/cp.12190.

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Background: Distress in the parents of children with autism spectrum disorder(ASD) can detrimentally impact parent and child functioning, making the prediction of distress in this parental group particularly important. Model A, developedby Falk, Norris, and Quinn, demonstrated that the relationship between childcentric variables (child social/interpersonal deficits and child externalised behaviour) with parental distress is mediated by parent-centric variables (socio-economicsupport and maladaptive parental cognitions) in parents of children with ASD.However, this model has not been validated in further ASD populations and therefore its generalisability outside the sample in which it was developed remainsunknown. This study aimed to empirically validate Model A for the prediction ofdistress in parents of children with ASD in an independent sample.Method: The current study recruited 153 parents of children aged under 18 yearswith a diagnosis of ASD. Participants completed an online questionnaire, containing measures of parental distress, child social/interpersonal deficits, child externalised behaviour, maladaptive parental cognitions, and socio-economic support.Results: Using structural equation modelling, the model was found to be a good fitfor parents of children with ASD. These results support the finding that parentcentric variables are important predictors of distress in this population.Conclusions: It is argued that parental distress should be considered a key targetwhen working with families impacted by ASD, and that interventions should focuson the parent as well as the child.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bones, S and Norris, K and Quinn, M
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, parents, coping, adaptation, stress, anxiety depression, mental health
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical Psychologist
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1328-4207
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/cp.12190
Copyright Information:

© 2019 The Australian Psychological Society

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