Stress, Coping Strategies, And Quality Of Life Among Jordanian Parents Of Children With Autistic Disorder | 12495
Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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Background: Parents in different cultures show different psychological functioning when caring for a child with chronic
disability such as autistic disorder. Arabs are united in a shared culture that is considered substantially different from their
western counterparts. Nevertheless, no investigations regarding the experience of parenting a child with autistic disorder have
been made in the Arab world yet. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the psychosocial impacts of raising
children with autistic disorder on Jordanian parents. The study examined the levels of parenting stress, the coping strategies, and
the levels of quality of life reported by Jordanian parents.
Methods: Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, the convenience sample of the study consisted of 184 parents of children
with autistic disorder. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires on parenting stress, coping strategies, and
quality of life.
Results: The results revealed that both fathers and mothers of children with autistic disorder experienced significant high levels of
parenting stress. Positive reappraisal was the most frequently used coping strategy among both the father and mothers of children
with autistic disorder. Meanwhile, confrontive coping was the least frequently used coping strategy. In regard to parents? quality
of life, both fathers and mothers showed similar pattern of poor physical, psychological, social, and environmental health, with
mothers reporting relatively lower scores. The lowest scores for both parents were reported for the environmental health domain.
Conclusion: The findings from this study indicate that Jordanian parents of children with autistic disorder suffer significant
impairments in their psychosocial health. Thus, those parents are in need for a wide range of support and educational programs
that offer broad information about autistic disorder alongside with therapeutic and effective strategies to address their stressors
and improve their quality of life.
Latefa Dardas has completed her master degree at the age of 25 years from the University of Jordan. She was ?number one? among colleagues in her
bachelor and master degrees. She was also the first student at the university to publish five papers out of her thesis in ISI journals before the thesis
defense. She is specialized in psychiatric mental health nursing and has her research interests in mental health of parents of children with chronic
disabilities. She is now working as teaching assistant at the University of Jordan and is preparing for her PhD scholarship at the USA.
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