PriMera Scientific Medicine and Public Health (ISSN: 2833-5627)

Case Report

Volume 4 Issue 2

Social Support and Parental Stress as Factors Predicting Resilience among Caregivers of Autistic Children

Ajayi O*, Bankole ET, Arowosegbe CK, Aroso SO, Ojo AE, Dada OD and Showole OD

January 23, 2024

DOI : 10.56831/PSMPH-04-118


This study determined if social support and parental stress as factors could predict resilience among caregivers of autistic spectrum disorder. The study further examined if gender, age, and religion of caregiver will predict resilience among caregivers of autistic spectrum disorder as well. Participants for this study include 34 caregivers from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Centre (CAMHSC) of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, and Lagos State. Caregivers’ age ranged between 20-66 including both males and females, across different religions and ethnic groups. Social support was assessed through Multidimensional scale of perceived social support, Parental stress was assessed through the parental stress scale, while Resilience was measured through the Brief resilience scale. The result revealed that social support did not significantly predict resilience B= -.16, t= -.98, P> .05. Stress has a significant influence on resilience B= .40, t= 2.46, P< .05. It further revealed that both social support and parental stress jointly significantly predict resilience R= .209, F (2, 31)= 4.09, P<.05. There is significant influence of gender on resilience t(32) = -2.842, P<.01. Similarly, there was significant interaction influence of age and religion on resilience F(2,27) =19.33; P<.01. It is suggested that mental health awareness campaigns should be raised about autism and the challenges faced by caregivers among religious and community leaders.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2013).
  2. Bayat M. “Evidence of resilience in families of children with autism”. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 51.9 (2007): 702-714.
  3. Bekhet NL, Johnson J and Zauszniewski A. “Resilience in family members of persons with autism spectrum disorder: A review of the literature”. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 33.10 (2012): 650-656.
  4. Berry JO, and Jones WH. “The parental stress scale: Initial psychometric evidence”. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 12 (1995): 463-472.
  5. Bonanno GA., et al. “What predicts psychological resilience after disaster? the role of demographics, resources, and life stress”. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 75.5 (2007): 671-682.
  6. Bondevik M and Skogstad A. “Loneliness among the oldest old: A comparison between residents living in nursing homes and residents living in the community”. International Journal of Aging and Human Development 43.3 (2016): 181-197.
  7. Boyd BA. “Examining the relationship between stress and lack of social support in mothers of children with autism”. Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities 17.4 (2002): 208.
  8. Brobst JB, Clopton JR and Hendrick SS. “Parenting children with autism spectrum disorders: The couple's relationship”. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 24 (2009): 38-49.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, six sites, United States, 2000”. Surveillance summaries. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 56.SS-1 (2007): 1-11.
  10. Davis N and Carter A. “Parenting stress in mothers and fathers of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Associations with child characteristics”. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 38 (2008): 1278-1291.
  11. Dean A and Lin N. “The stress-buffering role of social support: Problems and prospects for systematic investigation”. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 165 (2017): 403-417.
  12. Dumas JE., et al. “Parenting stress, child behavior problems, and dysphoria in parents of children with autism, down syndrome, behavior disorders, and normal development”. Exceptionality 2.2 (2001): 97-110.
  13. Duis SS and Summers M. “Parent versus child stress in diverse family types: An ecological approach”. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education 17.1 (2007): 53.
  14. Drageset J, Kirkevold M and Espehaug B. “Loneliness and social support among nursing home residents without cognitive impairment: A questionnaire survey”. International Journal of Nursing Studies 48.5 (2010): 611-619.
  15. Dyches TT., et al. “Multicultural issues in autism”. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 34.2 (2004): 211-222.
  16. Eldred L. “The Impact of Religiosity and Personality on Resilience and Coping Strategies”. University of Lynchburg Digital Showcase @ University of Lynchburg (2020).
  17. Falk NH, Norris K and Quinn MG. “The factors predicting stress, anxiety and depression in the parents of children with autism”. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 44.12 (2014): 3185-3203.
  18. Fischer and K Corcoran. “Measures for Clinical Practice and Research”. Volumes I and II, 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007).
  19. Ghanouni P and Eves L. “Resilience among parents and children with autism spectrum disorder”. Mental Illness (2023): 1-10.
  20. Hayes SA and Watson SL. “The impact of parenting stress: A meta-analysis of studies comparing the experience of parenting stress in parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder”. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 43 (2013): 629-642.
  21. Helgeson VS. Quality of Life Research 12.1suppl (2003): 25-31.
  22. Hodges H, Fealko C and Soares N. “Autism spectrum disorder: Definition, epidemiology, causes, and clinical evaluation”. Translational Pediatrics 9.S1 (2020).
  23. Hoffman C., et al. “Parenting stress and closeness: Mothers of typically developing children and mothers of children with autism”. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 24 (2009): 178-187.
  24. J Sambu L and Mhongo S. “Age and gender in relation to resilience after the experience of trauma among internally displaced persons (idps) in Kiambaa Village, Eldoret East Sub-county, Kenya”. Journal Of Psychology & Behavioral Science 7.1 (2019).
  25. Karaman E and Efilti E. “Investigation of social support perception and self-esteem as predictors of psychological resilience of parents who have children with special educational needs”. Asian Journal of Education and Training 5.1 (2019): 112-120.
  26. Luthar SD, Cicchetti and Becker B. “The construct of resilience: a critical evaluation and guidelines for future work”. Child Development 71.3 (2000): 543-562.
  27. Mann M., et al. “Self-esteem in a broad- spectrum approach for mental health promotion”. Health Education Research 19 (2004): 357-372.
  28. McCubbin MA and McCubbin HI. “Resiliency in families: a conceptual model of family adjustment and adaptation in response to stress and crises”. in Family Assessment: Resiliency, Coping and Adaptation: Inventories for Research and Practice, Eds., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (2006): 1-64.
  29. Opoku MP., et al. “Caregiving experiences and expectations of parents with in-school children with intellectual disability in Ghana”. Research in Developmental Disabilities 96 (2020): 103524.
  30. Oti-Boadi M, Dankyi E and Kwakye-Nuako CO. “Stigma and forgiveness in Ghanaian mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)”. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 50.4 (2020): 1391-1400.
  31. Patterson C and Turnbull H. “Theories of counseling and psychotherapy”. Philadelphia: Harper & Row (2006).
  32. Ruiz-Robledillo N., et al. “Highly resilient coping entails better perceived health, high social support and low morning cortisol levels in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder”. Research in Developmental Disabilities 35.3 (2014): 686-695.
  33. Smith Bruce W., et al. “The brief resilience scale: Assessing the ability to bounce back”. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 15.3 (2008): 194-200.
  34. Sun J, and Stewart D. “Age and gender effects on resilience in children and adolescents”. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 9.4 (2007): 16-25.
  35. Troy AS., et al. “Seeing the silver lining: cognitive reappraisal ability moderates the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms”. Emotion (2010): 783-795.
  36. Tsai J., et al. “The role of coping, resilience, and social support in mediating the relation between PTSD and social functioning in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”. Psychiatry 75 (2012): 135-149.
  37. Tsankova N., et al. “Epigenetic regulation in psychiatric disorders”. Nat. Rev. Neurosci 8 (2007): 355-367.
  38. Wald J, Taylor S and Asmundson GJG. “Literature review of concepts: psychological resiliency”. Toronto (ON): Defence R&D Canada (2006).
  39. Wickham-Searl P. “Careers in caring: Mothers of children with disabilities”. Disability, Handicap & Society 7.1 (1992): 5-17.
  40. Zimet GD., et al. “The multidimensional scale of perceived social support”. Journal of Personality Assessment 52.3 (1988): 0-41.