Stress and resiliency factors in caregivers of children of neurodevelopmental disorders

Principal Investigator(s):
Sara C. Spong
Grant Type:
Graduate Research
Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Year Awarded:
Year Completed:
Behavior, Emotions, Mental Health; Education and School Aged Children; Families


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.

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