Parental correlates of adjustment in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Yuen Man Rebecca CHEUNG, Sandy See Wai LEUNG, Winnie W. S. MAK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Previous research indicated that parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are subjected to stigma by the public (Gray, 1993). Notably, parents’ internalization of these stigmatized views may further increase their level of affiliate stigma to worsen their stress (Mak & Cheung, 2012). Extending the model of stress in parent-child interactions (Mash & Johnston, 1990), the present study investigated the mediating role of parenting stress between parental factors, namely parents’ affiliate stigma and mental health, and the behavioral adjustment in a sample of children with ASD. Participants were 136 Chinese parents of children with ASD under 18 years old. Controlling for parents’ and children’s gender and age, path analysis suggested that parenting stress mediated between both parental factors, including affiliate stigma and mental health, and children’s behavioral difficulties. Although no mediation effect was found for children’s prosocial behaviors, prosocial behaviors were related to parents’ mental health. These findings are crucial to our understanding about the underlying parental factors associated with child adjustment. In order to promote the behavioral adjustment of children with ASD, it is important to enhance parents’ mental health and reduce their affiliate stigma associated with parenting stress. Copyright © 2019 SPSSI 2019 Summer Conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


Cheung, R. Y. M., Leung, S. S. W., & Mak, W. W. S. (2019, June). Parental correlates of adjustment in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Poster presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues 2019 Summer Conference (SPSSI 2019): Fighting injustice: The power of research, policy, and activism in challenging times, Wyndham San Diego Bayside, San Diego, CA, USA.


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