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.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Psychological well-being
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology