Viewpoints on what is important to maintain relationship satisfaction in couples raising a child with autism spectrum disorder

Angela Sim, Sofi Fristedt, Reinie Cordier, Sharmila Vaz, Rebecca Kuzminski, Torbjorn Falkmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite the challenges associated with raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), many couples maintain satisfying relationships. However, it is not clear which factors couples prioritise as most important to this positive adaptation. Methods: This study used Q-methodology to explore the viewpoints on factors most important to maintaining relationship satisfaction from the perspective of those experiencing it. Data from 43 caregivers raising a child with ASD were analysed using by-person varimax rotation factor analysis. Results: Two key viewpoints were identified: 1) Building effective communication through openness, honesty and conflict resolution, and 2) Building a strong partnership by sharing parenting responsibilities. Conclusion: Couples should be supported to strengthen communication processes and work in partnership to raise their child with ASD through family-centred interventions aimed at promoting relationship satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume65
Early online date21 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

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