The Relationship Between Optimism, Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in Hispanic Mothers and Fathers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kelcie Willis, Lisa Timmons, Megan Pruitt, Hoa Lam Schneider, Michael Alessandri, Naomi V. Ekas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined gender differences in the relationship between dispositional optimism, coping, and depressive symptoms of Hispanic mothers (n = 46) and fathers (n = 43) of children with autism spectrum disorder. Coping was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between optimism and depressive symptoms. The results revealed that mothers reported greater depressive symptoms and greater use of positive and support coping than fathers; however, both mothers and fathers reported similar levels of optimism and use of avoidant coping. In addition, positive and avoidant coping strategies mediated the association between optimism and depressive symptoms for both mothers and fathers. Clinical implications for this study include interventions for improving optimistic outlooks as well as interventions that improve parents’ coping skills and therefore reduce negative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 26 2016

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Coping
  • Fathers
  • Hispanic
  • Mothers
  • Optimism
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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