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Stress and resiliency factors in caregivers of children of neurodevelopmental disorders

Principal Investigator(s):

Sara C. Spong

Grant Type:

Graduate Research

Funding:

$2,000


Organization:

Regent University

Year Awarded:

2018

Year Completed:

2020


Topics:

Education and School Aged Children; Behavior, Emotions, Mental Health; Families


Abstract

Understanding resiliency factors in caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an under-researched topic. Previous research studies have primarily focused on the stress and health effects on caregivers of children with ASD. This researcher theorizes that improved knowledge of what encapsulates a caregiver’s resiliency can result in the development of programs to instill positive adaptation skills. In this study, research data will be collected on up to 150 families of children with neurological disorders including ASD in a clinical setting. The families will receive an assessment packet including 5 scales that will allow evaluators to explore stress levels, perceptions of stress levels, and resiliency measures. After the data is collected, a structural equation modeling (SEM) design will be utilized to quantitatively understand the data. The data will be analyzed through the analysis moment of structures (AMOS) in order to disseminate the data through a path diagram. The principal researcher believes this process will help identify the specific factors that relate to stress and resiliency in caregivers of children with ASD. The results of the study will precipitate the development of specific programs to increase resiliency in caregivers of children with ASD. The desire is for families to develop healthier coping skills and more positive adaptation skills, which will result in decreased stress levels and overall higher resiliency.