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Religiosity/Spirituality and Mental Health Outcomes in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Mediating Role of Positive Thinking

  • Naomi V. EkasEmail author
  • Lauren Tidman
  • Lisa Timmons
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examines associations between dimensions of religiosity/spirituality (R/S) and anxiety symptoms in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mothers’ positive ways of thinking and romantic relationship satisfaction were examined as mediators of associations. The extent to which child ASD symptom severity and maternal broad autism phenotype (BAP) behaviors predicted interactions with religious community members was also examined. Seventy-three Christian mothers of a child with ASD completed online surveys. Higher levels of spirituality were associated with viewing their child with ASD as providing a positive contribution to the family. These positive views were, in turn, associated with less anxiety symptoms. Mothers of children with more severe ASD symptoms also reported greater negative interactions with members of their congregation.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Mothers Religion Spirituality Mental health 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Research and Creative Activities Fund at Texas Christian University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Texas Christian University #IRB-14045-146) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Information consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.California State University, StanislausTurlockUSA

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