“We are in this together”: Experiences of relationship satisfaction in couples raising a child with autism spectrum disorder

Angela Sim, Reinie Cordier, Sharmila Vaz, Torbjörn Falkmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Couple relationships play an integral role in family adjustment when a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet, it is unclear what factors contribute to the maintenance of relationship satisfaction in these couples. Method: Using phenomenology, data from eleven couple interviews were analysed to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of relationship satisfaction when raising a child with ASD. Results: The overall essence of “We are in this together” reflected the attitude that a strong partnership was beneficial in maintaining relationship satisfaction. This essence was captured in three main themes: 1) Shared beliefs, 2) Teamwork and 3) Shared experiences which closely paralleled the Walsh family resilience framework. Conclusions: Couples can be supported in these key areas to strengthen their relationship to serve as a source of resilience for families with a child with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume58
Early online date28 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

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