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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 955–967 | Cite as

Quality of life of French Canadian parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder and effects of psychosocial factors

  • Émilie Cappe
  • Nathalie Poirier
  • Carol Sankey
  • Andréa Belzil
  • Carmen Dionne
Article

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to investigate the quality of life of parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder in Quebec.

Methods

Seventy-seven participants completed a questionnaire with socio-biographic information and five self-assessed scales, to measure perceived stress, social support and control, coping strategies, and quality of life.

Results

Perception of their child’s autonomy level, of the severity of the disorder, of the family’s income, as well as changes in their professional or familial organization influenced parents’ quality of life. Perceiving their situation as a threat predicted poor quality of life, whereas satisfaction of social support predicted good quality of life. In addition, parents who used problem solving and support-seeking coping strategies had a better relationship with their child, whereas those who used more emotion-centered coping strategies struggled. Lastly, parents who felt they had the power to contribute to their child’s development were more satisfied and less disturbed.

Conclusions

Beyond the parents’ actual situation, our results underscore the importance of paying attention to their own perception of the situation in order to provide them with appropriate support.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Parents Quality of life Psychosocial variables 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the private clinic specialized in ASD and the “Fédération Québécoise de l’Autisme” who helped us in the recruitment process, and the parents who took part in this study.

Funding

This study was not funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. This study received the approval from the Institutional ethical committee for research with human beings (CIEREH) of the University of Quebec in Montreal, as well as from the Ethical committee of joint research for the Centre for rehabilitation in intellectual disability and pervasive developmental disorder (CRDITED).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Participation was voluntary and participants received no financial compensation for taking part in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé (EA 4057), Institut de PsychologieUniversité Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris CitéBoulogne-BillancourtFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Recherche sur la Famille d’Enfant présentant un Trouble du Spectre de l’Autisme, Département de psychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé (EA 4057), Institut de PsychologieUniversité Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris CitéBoulogne-BillancourtFrance
  4. 4.Chaire de Recherche du Canada en Intervention Précoce, Département de PsychoéducationUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada

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