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Parent Stress and ASD Severity: A Re-Examination
AdvisorGhezzi, Patrick M.
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The purpose of the present research was to investigate the relationship between ASD severity, as assessed by GARS, and parent stress, as assessed by the PSI and the PSI Parent Domain subscales in particular. Studies suggest that parent stress rises to the severity of a young child’s ASD for reasons related to the challenges of parenting and managing severe autistic behavior compared to moderate or mild levels. The participants were parents seeking Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) services from a university-based program between 1996 and 2018. A total of 46 mothers and fathers (23 mothers, 23 fathers) and their respective 23 children participated. The present results suggest that a young child with mild ASD may enable his parents the luxury of spending less time, effort and worry about managing behavior, leaving more time to spend instead on either their own well-being, and/or learning how to manage their child’s behavior more effectively.