Mothers’ and Fathers’ Stress Associated with Parenting a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kelly-Ann Allen, Terence Bowles, Linda Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study was designed to assess parental stress in married mothers and fathers of children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in relation to four dimensions associated with symptoms of ASD. The first dimension involved speech, language and communication. The second dimension covered sociability, with the third relating to sensory and cognitive awareness. The final dimension consisted of health and physical behavior. A total of 124 participants (101 females, 23 males) sourced from specialist schools, early intervention centers, support groups, and autism associations, completed questionnaires designed to elicit information on these dimensions for predicting perceived stress. Results indicated that sociability predicted stress in mothers, while stress for fathers was predicted by a child's deficits in sensory and cognitive awareness. The remaining variables did not significantly predict perceived stress. The results have implications for management of stress associated with parenting a child with ASD and for future child and parent intervention programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAutism Insights
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2013

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