Psychological Distress in Jordanian Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Positive Reappraisal Coping

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Abstract

Background

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently report poor psychological well-being. Positive reappraisal coping (PRC) is a coping strategy which offers a protective effect from anxiety and depression. However, the association between PRC and the psychological distress in parents of children with ASD has yet to be established.

Aim

This study examines the association between PRC and the psychological distress in parents of children with ASD.

Method

In this descriptive correlational study, 104 parents of children with ASD completed measures of psychological distress and PRC. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to examine the association between PRC and the psychological distress in parents after controlling the influence of parental age and gender.

Results

The PRC was associated with the psychological distress in parents above and beyond the variance accounted for by parental age and gender. After controlling for parental age and gender, PRC had significant negative correlation with the levels of anxiety, stress, and depression in parents (Anxiety: β = −0.36, p < 0.001; Stress: β = −0.21, p = 0.03; Depression: β = − 0.37, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Using positive reappraisal coping strategy may help to reduce psychological distress in parents of children with ASD.

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