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Parenting a child with an autism spectrum disorder: a review of parent mental health and its relationship to a trauma-based conceptualisation

Version 2 2024-06-04, 03:34
Version 1 2016-09-25, 01:03
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 03:34 authored by M Stewart, Jane McGillivrayJane McGillivray, D Forbes, David AustinDavid Austin
he impact on parental psychological functioning as a result of living with disruptive, challenging, and dangerous behaviours exhibited by some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is investigated. Core features of ASD along with aggression, elopement, self-injury, and suicidal ideation can cause significant parental distress. This parenting experience may be associated with depression, anxiety, somatisation, and anger-hostility. It is proposed that a traumatic stress framework may assist in conceptualising some parents’ experiences and psychological symptomatology. A systematic review revealed only one study that had explored posttraumatic stress symptoms amongst parents of children with ASD. Consequently, a narrative literature review has been conducted to explore this emerging area of enquiry. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (fifth edition) recognises direct experience as well as witnessing actual or threatened serious injury as a traumatic event that can lead to trauma-related psychopathology. Despite some parents of children with ASD experiencing traumatic events (e.g. their child engaging in self-injurious behaviours), prevalence rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder amongst this population are unknown. Further research is required to determine the validity of adopting a traumatic stress framework when considering parent symptomatology, and if such a framework were valid, there would be significant implications for optimising support and intervention for parents.

History

Journal

Advances in mental health

Volume

15

Pagination

4-14

Location

Abingon, Eng.

ISSN

1838-7357

eISSN

1837-4905

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Taylor & Francis

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor & Francis