Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : There are many studies about factors that contribute to stress of parents of an autistic child. However, each factor has not been studied; and these factors always have been chosen for study only on one dimension. Objective : To investigate more factors that contribute to stress of parents of an autistic child. This will help autistic child’s relevant agencies to create more appropriate help program to alleviate stress from the parents of autistic children. Design : A cross – sectional descriptive study. Setting : Rajanukul Institute. Materials and Methods : Data were collected from 106 parents of autistic children who came with them to the Outpatient Department of Rajanukul Institute. The instruments consisted of four following parts: 1) questionnaire on general background; 2) questionnaire on parent’s attitude to child care; 3) questionnaire on social support from family and medical personnel; 4) Questionnaire on stress of parent of autistic child. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-Square Test (Fisher’s Exact Test) and One-Way ANOVA (Post-Hoc Analysis). Results : Most of the parents of autistic children (65.1%) had moderate level of stress. Factors significantly related to stress in parents of the autistic children were: age of the parent (p <.05), the parent’s income (p <.01), the age of the autistic child (p <.001), the perception of autistic child symptom (p <.05), the parent’s attitude for child care (p <.001), the social support from family (p <.05) and from medical personnel (P <.001). Conclusion : Most parents of the autistic children had moderate level of stress. The situation of stress that make them had moderate stress is an anxiety about behavior of autistic child. If they had this anxiety for too long time. It gives them to high level of stress. These will lead to mental health problem, in the end. Therefore, Knowing the related factors will help relevant agencies make appropriate programs to alleviate stress from parents of autistic children.



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