Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 2008–2018 | Cite as

Compassionate Parenting as a Key to Satisfaction, Efficacy and Meaning Among Mothers of Children with Autism

  • Regina Conti
Original Paper


Two studies examine the role of compassionate and self-image parenting goals in the experience of mothers of children with autism. In Study 1, a comparison sample was included. Study 1 included measures of parenting goals, life satisfaction, family life satisfaction, parenting satisfaction, and meaning in life. Study 2 incorporated a measure of parenting efficacy. Study 1 showed that mothers of children with autism were higher than comparison mothers in compassionate parenting goals. In both studies, compassionate parenting predicted positive outcomes including higher parenting satisfaction (both studies), family life satisfaction, meaning in life (Study 1) and higher parenting efficacy (Study 2). These studies support the notion that compassionate parenting is a key to satisfaction for mothers of children with autism.


Autism Spectrum Disorders Parenting goals Compassionate goals Self-image goals Parenting satisfaction Parenting efficacy 



I am grateful for the assistance of my students Mai Duong, Caitlyn Lucas, Elizabeth Paulino, Shaterra Redd and Kristen Stonehill, as well as Connie Anderson and Alison R. Marvin of the IAN Project who facilitated the data collection for the studies reported here and to Eugene Fodor, Anne Fontana, William J. Porta, Ellen Kuhl Repetto and Rebecca Shiner Jennifer Tomlinson and an anonymous reviewer for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by a grant from Colgate University’s Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColgate UniversityHamiltonUSA

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