Parenting stress within mother-father dyads raising a young child with autism spectrum disorder

Shaneha Patel, Mélina Rivard, Catherine Mello, Diane Morin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The present study assessed different facets of parenting stress in families with a child with ASD (perceptions of parenting-related roles, parent-child interactions, and the child's behaviors) at three timepoints: right after receiving an ASD diagnosis, immediately following specialized intervention services, and one year after receiving services, upon primary school entry. Method: Participants were 258 mother-father dyads and their child. Parents provided demographic information and completed measures on their parenting stress and their child's autism symptom severity. Results: Partial correlations revealed that, at the time of diagnosis, after controlling for children's age and autism symptom severity, mothers’ and fathers’ stress was positively and significantly associated with each other, suggesting a bidirectional relation between partners’ psychological adjustment. Cross-lagged panel analyses demonstrated different longitudinal and transactional links, depending on the dimension of stress examined. Conclusions: Findings are discussed in terms of supports that could assist mothers and fathers of children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102051
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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