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University of Michigan

1. DeWit, Christin. Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Degree: 2019, University of Michigan

Research reveals that parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have reported higher levels of stress compared to parents with typically developing children or children suffering from other illnesses (e.g., Giovagnoli et al., 2015). This parental stress is associated with higher occurrences of parental fatigue, heart disease and gastrointestinal ulcers along with feelings of reduced social support and marital satisfaction, among other consequences (Hayes & Watson, 2013; Hodgetts, Nicholas, & Zwaigenbaum, 2013). Previous literature suggested that problem behaviors, that often accompany ASD, are predictive of parental stress (e.g., Estes et al., 2009). Such parental stress can increase the risk for depression and anxiety as well as have other negative effects on parents. This exploratory, cross-sectional study examined predictors of parental stress in a sample of 50 parents of children with ASD that were currently receiving clinic-based ABA therapy. Participants were primarily recruited from five ABA clinics in a midwestern region and had the option of completing paper surveys or online. Specifically, child problem behaviors, perceived improvement through therapy, parent-therapist alliance, and perceived barriers to treatment were assessed for their contribution to parental stress. Results indicate that, indeed, problem behaviors were most predictive of parental stress. Parent-therapist alliance significantly adds to the variance in the model predicting parental stress, after accounting for problem behaviors. Perceived barriers to treatment were shown to partially mediate the relationship between parent-therapist alliance and parental stress. This study emphasizes the importance of the parent and therapist relationship for children’s treatment. Establishing supportive and honest relationships with parents can relieve parenting stress and in turn may allow parents to notice their child’s treatment improvement as well as reduce problem behaviors that are a result of negative parent-child interactions. Additionally, when ABA clinics become aware of the barriers that parents experience, they could implement changes within their system to better serve their child patients and parents or provide more comprehensive care for families to address barriers. Advisors/Committee Members: Dr. Nancy Wrobel (advisor), Dr. Michelle Leonard (advisor), Psychology, Department of (UM-Dearborn) (affiliationum), Dearborn (affiliationumcampus).

Subjects/Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder; perceived improvement; treatment outcomes; children; parental stress; parent-therapist alliance; therapeutic alliance; problem behaviors; behavior problems; barriers to treatment; treatment barriers; Psychology; Social Sciences

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

DeWit, C. (2019). Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Thesis). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/150490

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

DeWit, Christin. “Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” 2019. Thesis, University of Michigan. Accessed August 24, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/150490.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

DeWit, Christin. “Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” 2019. Web. 24 Aug 2019.

Vancouver:

DeWit C. Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Michigan; 2019. [cited 2019 Aug 24]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/150490.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

DeWit C. Treatment Related Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. [Thesis]. University of Michigan; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/150490

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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