Marital adjustment, autism, parents, multiples, perceived social support
The current study investigated the relationship between raising multiple children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and martial adjustment and whether perceived social support moderates this relationship. The sample (n = 115) consisted of 77 parents of a single child diagnosed with an ASD and 44 parents of 2 or more children diagnosed with an ASD. There was no significant difference in martial adjustment between the parents of single versus multiple children with ASDs and no significant relationship between number of children with an ASD within a family and marital adjustment. Although the main hypotheses were not supported, data from experimental questions indicated that a majority of participants believed their marriage was affected by their child's ASD diagnosis and most rated this effect negatively. Further, for parents of multiple children with ASDs, the rating of degree of impact upon their marital relationship after the first diagnosis was significantly positively related to their marital impact rating following the second diagnosis, suggesting that parents who view the effects of the first diagnosis as negative are likely to view the effects of the second diagnosis negatively as well. Since there was no a significant relationship between number of children with and ASD and marital adjustment, social support was not tested as a moderator. However, there was a significant positive relationship between dyadic adjustment and perceived social support. Further research examining the effects of parenting multiple children with ASDs is warranted.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Mills, Rachel, "Marital Adjustment in Parents of Multiple Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4743.