Parents whose children suffer from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more psychologically distressed compared to other parents with typical children or those whose children have other forms of disability. They are mostly concerned with their children’s behavioral problems. The aim of the research was to duplicate previous findings suggesting that psychological acceptance is necessary for mothers whose autistic children have behavioral problems and to apply the same results to the fathers. In addition, the study aimed at finding out the role of general mindfulness. The participants included 71 mothers and 39 fathers. They averaged 45 and 46 years respectively. Most of the participants were biological parents of their children. There were individual cases of adoptive or foster parents. The participants were married, cohabiting, single, divorced, or widowed. Methods involved telephone interviews and completing questionnaires.
Results from the research indicated that psychological acceptance mediated between the behavioral problems and the wellbeing of the parent. It helped in paternal depression, maternal anxiety, depression, and stress. Parents, who reported increased acceptance and mindfulness, had positive relations with their children. Using acceptance based approaches and strategies based on mindfulness will benefit mothers suffering from psychological distress. The study was limited because the fathers participating were few and this affected the outcome. In addition, there was a low response rate and it might not have been a good representation of families with children suffering from autism. Moreover, the researchers did not use any screening tool to confirm the ASD cases. The researcher depended on the reports given by the female parent. The study does not identify and determine mindfulness and acceptance as causes of greater adjustment. There is a possibility that parents who are more adjusted tend to be more mindful and accepting.
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