J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2009 Jun;34(2):133-41.


Enrichment, stress, and growth from parenting an individual with an autism spectrum disorder.


Phelps KW, McCammon SL, Wuensch KL, Golden JA. Department of Child Development and Family Relations, East Carolina University, 150 Rivers Building, Greenville, NC 27858, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



BACKGROUND: Past researchers have focused primarily on the associated negative impact of caring for a child with special needs. In this study, caregivers report the enrichment and stress of caring for a child with an autism spectrum disorder.


METHOD: Eighty caregivers completed the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), Effects of the Situation Questionnaire (ESQ), and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). Enrichment and stress scores were compared to symptom severity data and posttraumatic growth scores.


RESULTS: Consistent with prior research, caregivers reported greater levels of stress than enrichment. On just over half of the stress/enrichment variables, parental ratings of stress and enrichment were negatively correlated. Scores of total stress and enrichment were not correlated to the severity of the individual's symptoms or caregivers' growth scores.


CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that although stress is a major concern for caregivers, enrichment and growth may also occur in varying degrees.


PMID: 19404834 [PubMed - in process]



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