Resilience intervention for families of autistic children : reviewing the literature

Kotera, Y, Pope, M, Chircop, J, Kirkman, A, Bennett-Viliardos, LA ORCID: and Sharaan, S 2021, 'Resilience intervention for families of autistic children : reviewing the literature' , Journal of Concurrent Disorders .

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: Given the rising diagnostic rates of autism, it is imperative to investigate the well-being of families with autistic children. Families of autistic children report more mental health difficulties than families of typically developing children. Resilience is identified as a key protective factor for mental health difficulties in many populations, and research suggests that this construct is effective for coping with mental health difficulties in families of autistic children. However, reviews on resilience interventions for families of autistic children are lacking. Accordingly, this paper aims to report (a) common mental health difficulties that families of autistic children experience, (b) how resilience may reduce mental health difficulties, (c) interventions to enhance resilience in families of autistic children, and (d) discuss implications for practice and future research. Our review identified that mental distress resulting from feelings of uncertainty and helplessness following a diagnosis, in addition to caregiving stressors, is especially common among families of autistic children. Enhancing resilience is suggested to reduce those difficulties by tapping into strengths related to various positive psychological resources such as internal locus of control, positive cognitive appraisal, acceptance and self-efficacy. Interventions such as Dance Movement Psychotherapy and spirituality-based approaches, are deemed especially helpful to families of autistic children. However, research in this area is still underdeveloped, and there is a pressing need to build a more rigorous evidence base. Findings reviewed in the current work can aid families of autistic children, healthcare practitioners, and researchers to support the mental wellbeing of families of autistic children, which in turn would support the wellbeing of autistic children.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Concurrent Disorders
Publisher: Concurrent Disorders Society
ISSN: 2562-7546
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LA Viliardos
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 15:00
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 07:17

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