Parental Wellbeing: Stress, Parental Sense of Competence, Social Support and Hope in parents of children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder
AbstractParents of children raising a child with a disability, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often report higher levels of stress than parents of typically developing (TD) children. Much research focuses on the psychological impact of caring for a child with additional needs, with little providing a more inclusive insight into the overall effect on parental functioning. The current study used multiple self-report measures to explore stress, parental sense of competence, social support and hope in parents raising a TD child compared to those raising a child with a disability or ASD. Results showed significant differences between the groups. Parents raising a child with ASD reported the highest level of stress, and alongside parents raising a child with a disability, had significantly higher levels than parents raising a TD child. Additionally, parents of children with a disability and ASD had significantly lower perceived parental competence, social support and hope than parents of TD children. Further variations between the groups were discussed. The results highlighted that raising a child with a disability or ASD is a unique and variable experience, shaped by a body of factors that need to be reviewed comprehensively to support positive parental adjustment. Implications and suggestions for future research were also discussed.
CitationKeane, K. (2018). Parental Wellbeing: Stress, Parental Sense of Competence, Social Support and Hope in parents of children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Master's Thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
The following license files are associated with this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
'Bear one another's burdens'. An examination of the experiences of parents bereaved of a child through drug use, who volunteer to support other parents bereaved in a similar way. What meaning and significance do parents attach to the role and how do they support themselves?Skinner, Philippa J. (University of Chester, 2016-06)Aim: The purpose of this small-scale, heuristic qualitative study was to learn from the experiences of parents bereaved of a child through drug related causes. Specifically, it explored the meaning and significance they attach to the role of becoming peer supporters of others similarly bereaved. Method: This is a heuristic study in which semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants who had all lost a child aged between eighteen and thirty. The findings were analysed using thematic analysis, a method described by Braun and Clarke (2006, 2014) which covers a spectrum of epistemological approaches, and is well-suited to the heuristic approach (Moustakas, 1990). The researcher, also a parent bereaved of a child through a drug overdose, is explicitly part of this work and uses her own experience, alongside those of the participants, to inform the work. Findings: There were four main themes highlighted by the researcher. Firstly, the devastating nature of the bereavement and the difficult grief process, encompassing disenfranchisement, shame, and stigma. Secondly, how the parents found support for themselves after their loss and gradually moved to becoming a supporter of others. Thirdly, the parents' reflections on the role of being a helper, both positive and negative. Fourthly, how they continue to support themselves in the role of a bereaved parent volunteer supporter. Conclusion: The work supports previous research suggesting this is a devastating form of bereavement which has been seldom studied. The findings endorse the necessity of meaning making and sense finding felt by many bereaved people, and the fact that finding meaning may be harder after a traumatic loss such as the ones represented here. The parents found meaning by maintaining a bond with their deceased child through their work, and connection by keeping company with others who had understanding of what they had suffered. The study illustrates aspects of posttraumatic growth, while emphasising that such a process is neither easy nor inevitable.
Exploring the place of counselling for parents who have lived with child-to-parent violenceSwinton, Valda; Mintz, Rita; Le'Surf, Anne; Bridges, Ruth M.; Thomas, Jennifer (University of Chester, 2014-10)This study set out to explore the part played by counselling in the lives of parents afflicted by child-to-parent violence, in response to a perceived lack of literature in the area. It is a qualitative study with data generated from audio-recorded, semistructured interviews, which were subsequently analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guidelines. Three participants explored their experiences facing child-to-parent violence, focusing upon the interventions offered, in particular counselling. Master themes from the data clustered around ‘living with abuse’, ‘negotiating a way through’ and ‘support’. An emergent theme was ‘unhelpful service interventions’, which contrasted with the theme of ‘helpful individuals’. A common emergent theme was the persistence of abuse from the child. Just as interventions appeared to depend upon how practitioners conceptualised child-to-parent violence, so too the response of participants depended on the meaning made of their different experiences. Participants’ experiences of counselling also emerged from how they had conceptualised their situations. Implications for practice indicate the need for a non-judgemental stance by counsellors to counter parental self-blame, and a greater clarity when supporting parents who are caught in a dilemma about their rights to personal safety.
Are parents showing pushy parenting traits on online discussion forums?Lloyd, Julian; Holland, Emily (University of Chester, 2017)More parents are turning to online discussion forums for security, advice, support, empowerment and to share their parenting experiences. This naturalistic setting is becoming more prominent form of data collection within psychological research, observing human behaviour in natural manner. Many parenting styles are widely acknowledged, but little research has been performed surrounding pushy parenting. Pushy parenting behaviours can be evident and associated within an educational context. Therefore, this study aims to explore online discussion forums for evidence of pushy parenting behavioural traits. Content analytical approaches were applied on a poplar parenting website Mumsnet. A coding scheme was devised from the existing literature and was applied to one hundred discussions from nine threads related to education where there was clear evidence of pushy parenting characteristics. 2x2 Chi-square tests were run to establish any significant relationships between the variables stated as the hypotheses. Findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between the gender of the child and pushy parenting, the orientation displayed towards the child and the child’s educator and whether the behaviour is considered in the child’s best interests and the reasons given making the behaviour justifiable.