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Satisfaction with informal supports predicts resilience in families of children with autism spectrum disorder

Background: The current study examined the role of informal supports in predicting resilience among families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Methods: Participants included 153 caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder, who were between the ages of 2 and 18 years (M = 10.45; SD = 4.32). Caregivers completed a measure of satisfaction with informal supports as well as the Family Resilience Assessment Scale-autism spectrum disorder. After controlling for demographic factors and child behavioural problems, regression analyses revealed that satisfaction with informal supports significantly predicted family resilience. Results: The findings highlight the importance of specifically strengthening informal support networks when providing services and interventions to families of children with autism spectrum disorder to foster the family's resilience. The study of resilience among individuals with disabilities and their families represents a paradigmatic shift from a deficits orientation towards a more holistic and contextualized approach focused on strength and adaptation. The current study investigated whether informal supports could help improve families' capacity for resilience. We recruited 153 caregivers of children aged between 2 and 18 years who all had a diagnosis of autism. Participants were asked to complete surveys assessing resilience in their families as well as their satisfaction with informal supports (e.g. friends and family). Families more likely to report higher satisfaction with their informal support networks demonstrate greater resilience. The results suggest that informal social supports are a valuable resource for families in strengthening their capacity for resilience. Conclusions: The findings may help inform the development of interventions and services that work collaboratively and innovatively with families and their social networks to provide assistance and support in meaningful and effective ways.

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Journal article
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Journal Titles
Autism: The International Journal of Research & Practice
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