The relations between parental stress and family resilience. A model of mediation

  • M.N. Turliuc
  • D.S. Duca
  • C. Măirean
  • D. Muntele Hendres


Background. Many studies indicate that parents of children with autism have higher levels of stress, than parents of typically developed children. At the same time, such families often show high levels of resilience. The current study aimed at understanding the relationships between parenting stress and family resilience among couples caring for children with autism, mediated by illness perception. Method. Participants were 106 parents of children with autism (53 of married couples, 26 and 51 old, M = 43.05, SD = 5.15, 53 women and 53 men), who are caregivers for children with autism. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling in Amos 21, based on the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) and the APIMeM (the model for mediation). Findings. Results showed a significant actor effect between female parenting stress and family resilience (r = -.48, p = .004), and a significant partner effects between male parenting stress and family resilience (r = .34, p=.002). Also, results showed that husband’s illness perception mediated in a negative way the association between his own parenting stress and his wife’s family resilience (p = .038). Discussions. The current findings suggest the important role of family members’ perceptions of autism and the interdependence among family members. Parenting stress, illness perception and family resilience play important roles in understanding parental adjustment to diagnosis of autism.
Oral presentations