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Issue: Issue 6 – 2019


Review Article

Stress factors in parents of children on the autism spectrum: an integrative model approach

Author(s):
Joana Prata, Wenn Lawson and Rui Coelho
Abstract:
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition with biological, genetic, environmental and developmental causes whose prevalence has suffered substantial increase over the last decades. Children on the autism spectrum (AS) face unique challenges that arise from their difficulty in understanding social behavior and interaction, difficulty in understanding and effectively using communication, and difficulty with having reduced flexibility of thought and behavior. A large number of studies have reported that parents of children on the AS experience higher levels of stress when compared to parents of typically developing children and children with other developmental disabilities. Such stress levels are dependent on a number of factors which seem to be interrelated and complex. In this review we divided these factors into parent characteristics, child characteristics, family support system, social support/socioeconomic status and professional support, proposing an integrative model for understanding parental stress.

Keywords: Autism spectrum, Parent stress, Stress factors.

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2019; 6:2
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21035/ijcnmh.2019.6.2
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