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The Experience of Co-Parents Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Title: The Experience of Co-Parents Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author: Myers, Madison
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Program: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Advisor: Beaton, Johnvan Rhijn, Tricia
Abstract: This study aimed to explore the experiences of caregivers raising children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The theoretical frameworks of Self-Efficacy Theory and the Ecological approach were employed to examine the experiences of co-parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study included 176 Ontario caregivers of children with ASD who participated in a mixed-methods analysis which included the collection of descriptive demographic information and qualitative responses to examine the nuanced experiences of co-parents raising children with ASD during the pandemic. The main themes which emerged from the data included caregiver’s concerns regarding their own wellbeing due to increased caregiver demands and confinement related stressors, their child’s adjustment to a lack of structure and routine, relational functioning due to negotiating time together, and family resilience in the face of adversity. An illustration of the centrality of the co-parenting relationship in supporting child adjustment is provided. Finally, clinical and research implications and recommendations are discussed.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26362
Date: 2021
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