Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at greater risk than other couples for having higher stress levels and lower marital quality. Respite care has been suggested as a way to help alleviate stress. This study investigated the relationship between respite care and marital quality; and the potential of mother stress and father stress as mediating variables. One hundred and one couples, each consisting of a mother and a father who lived with their child with an ASD, were given questionnaires including a respite questionnaire, Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Experience in Close Relationships Questionnaire, and Daily Hassles and Uplifts Scale. Results showed that the amount of respite care was positively related to marital quality for both husbands and wives. Husband and wife stress and husband and wife uplifts mediated the relationship between respite care and marital quality for both husbands and wives, indicating these variables of stress and uplifts were processes through which respite care had an indirect effect on marital quality. Results suggest that policy makers should develop strategies for providing respite care for families with children diagnosed with an ASD.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Harper, Amber Rachelle, "Respite Care and Marital Quality: Families with a Child Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 3141.
Respite Care, Marital Quality, Autism Spectrum Disorder