Family functioning in Asian families raising children with autism spectrum disorders: The role of capabilities and positive meanings

J. Xue, J. Ooh, I. Magiati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There has been increasing interest in exploring the factors contributing to successful adaptation and family functioning in ethnically and culturally diverse families who raise children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), in order to inform more appropriate strength-based family support services. This pilot study used the Family Adjustment and Adaptation Response (FAAR) model as a theoretical framework to investigate the role of families' capabilities (coping strategies and resources of support) and positive meanings in raising a child with ASD in family functioning in an Asian context. Methods: Sixty-five Singaporean parents of 3- to 11-year-old children with ASD completed a series of questionnaires on demands, coping strategies, social support, positive meanings and family functioning. Results: Families reported a number of helpful coping strategies. Coping through family integration/optimism was most helpful, followed by understanding the condition and by developing esteem and psychological stability. Reported capabilities, but not positive meanings, mediated the relationship between demands and family functioning. Conclusion: The findings are discussed in relation to existing literature, possible specific cultural issues, and the strengths and limitations of the study. Implications for supporting families of children with ASD in different social and cultural contexts are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-420
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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