Nonattachment alleviates the longitudinal impact of experienced and anticipated discrimination on parents of children with autism spectrum disorder

Ka Shing Kevin CHAN, Chiu Hung Charles YIP, Zixin WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Research shows that stigma has an adverse psychological impact on parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there are very few studies examining the potential protective factors that may buffer the adverse impact. The present study investigated the longitudinal associations of experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination with detrimental cognitive consequences (i.e., self-stigma content and self-stigma process) and affective consequences (i.e., parenting stress and depressive symptoms) for parents of children with ASD and tested whether these associations would be moderated by nonattachment. 

Methods: At two time points separated by 24 months, 381 Hong Kong parents of children with ASD completed standardized questionnaires to provide data on experienced discrimination, anticipated discrimination, nonattachment, self-stigma content, self-stigma process, parenting stress, and depressive symptoms. 

Results: Hierarchical regressions showed that experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination had significant interactions with nonattachment at baseline in predicting adverse psychological consequences (i.e., self-stigma content, self-stigma process, parenting stress, and depressive symptoms) at follow-up. In addition, simple slope analyses showed that the associations of experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination with the adverse psychological consequences were weaker in parents with high nonattachment than in parents with low nonattachment. 

Conclusions: Our findings indicate the longitudinal associations of experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination with detrimental cognitive consequences and affective consequences for parents of children with ASD, and highlight the protective effects of nonattachment against such associations. These findings suggest the importance of supporting parents of children with ASD to increase nonattachment in order to cope with discrimination and improve psychological well-being. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1733–1744
JournalMindfulness
Volume13
Issue number7
Early online dateJun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Citation

Chan, K. K. S., Yip, C. C. H., & Wang, Z. (2022). Nonattachment alleviates the longitudinal impact of experienced and anticipated discrimination on parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Mindfulness, 13(7), 1733–1744. doi: 10.1007/s12671-022-01911-w

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • Nonattachment
  • Self-stigma content
  • Self-stigma process
  • Parenting stress
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Autism spectrum disorder

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