Caregiver parents of children with autism spectrum disorder: Need assessment, model testing, and intervention studies

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016




The aim of the present thesis was to examine the predictors of well-being in caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder and to develop a group intervention program for these caregivers. The current thesis is composed of three interrelated studies, whose aims were (1) to determine the problems of caregivers of autism spectrum disorder, (2) to reveal the predictors of caregiver well-being by using the integrative coping model of Holahan and Moos (2007), and (3) to develop and implement a group intervention program. Study 1 examined subjective experiences of the caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder. The identified themes were insufficient knowledge, emotions, social support, and change. At Study 2, five hierarchical regression analyses were performed to reveal the predictors of depressive symptoms, positive affect, negative affect, and well-being indicators. Study 3, including development and implementing a group intervention program, was based on the findings of Study 1. Study 3 was conducted with 6 participants and findings revealed that after the intervention program, positive affects scores of caregivers as well as the well-being indicators were significantly increased as compared to their reports before the intervention. The possible explanations for and the implications of findings; and the limitations of these three interrelated studies were discussed. Overall, this thesis examined the factors associated with caregiving experiences of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder by performing need assessment, qualitative and quantitative studies; and it shed light on important factors in the development of an intervention program for caregivers.