Correlates of adaptation in families of children with pervasive developmental disorder

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Batchelor, Casey Jane

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University of Guelph


The relationship between child and family variables and adaptation was examined employing the ABCX model of adaptation as a framework The participants were 46 parents (41 mothers, five fathers) of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). The stressor (A) was represented by severity of autistic symptoms, family resources (B) were represented by SES and frequency of help in the home, and the family's definition of the stressor (C) was represented by parental attributional style and dispositional optimism. Two criterion variables were employed to obtain an index of adaptation (X), parental stress and parental perception of family relations. Regression analysis was significant for parental stress, but not for family relations. Severity of PDD symptoms, child level of functioning, and parental locus of control were significantly related to adaptation, whereas SES and optimism were not. Results are discussed in relation to future research directions and relevance to intervention efforts.



Adaptation, Children, Families, Pervasive development disorder, Relationships