Understanding daily parenting stresses in caring for children with autism spectrum disorders

A P Simelane


Background. There is a growing body of knowledge related to stress levels in parents of children diagnosed with developmental challenges. However, limited research has focused on the stress levels among parents raising children with ASD in the South African context.

Objectives. To determine the stress levels experienced by parents raising children with ASD and whether experiences differ between mothers and fathers.

Methods. An independent-sample t-test was conducted to understand the differences between mothers’ and fathers’ stress levels.

Results. The study found that parents raising children with ASD experience significant stress and that mothers experienced higher parental stress levels than fathers.

Conclusion. The results of this study are pertinent to understanding challenges experienced by parents of children with ASD. Genderbased differences in parenting roles are still experienced. Mothers of children with ASD experienced more stress as measured according to the Parenting Daily Hassle Scale. The results suggest that a qualitative follow-up study is required to understand the nature of and background associated with struggles experienced by mothers

Author's affiliations

A P Simelane, School of Humanities, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2020;14(3):115-118. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2020.v14i3.1596

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-10-12
Date published: 2020-10-12

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