Recognising the "forgotten man": Fathers' experiences in caring for a young child with autism spectrum disorder
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Background Despite decades of research on family adaptation in relation to caring for a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the wellbeing of fathers remains poorly understood. Method The present study sought to investigate experiences of fathers of young children with ASD aged between 2½ and 6 years attending an ASD-specific early intervention centre. Eighteen fathers initially completed a mailed questionnaire and 8 of these fathers were then interviewed by telephone. The questionnaire included standardised measures assessing constructs of the double ABCX model of family adaptation. The interview used open-ended questions to understand the experiences of fathers’ involvement in caring, sources of support, and coping strategies. Results Fathers experienced elevated levels of parental stress and elevated depressive symptoms. Interviews deepened understanding of fathers’ personal experiences of each component of the double ABCX model. Conclusions Findings from this study provide further insight into the fathering role and demonstrate the utility of the double ABCX model as a framework for exploring their experiences. The need for further research to explore practical implications to better support fathers is discussed.
Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
© 2017 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability on 28 Feb 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.3109/13668250.2017.1293235
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Social Work not elsewhere classified