Stress, adjustment and coping pattern in parents of children with Autism
The present study is an exploratory study which aims to assess the stress, coping and adjustment pattern in parents of children with autism. The sample consisted of 20 parents. The tools used in the present research were a semi-structured interview schedule that aided in the process of data collection and to probe into relevant areas. A parent stress index questionnaire was used to assess the stress experienced due to child characteristics, parent characteristics and other life stresses. A coping checklist was used to study the coping styles adopted. A structured interview schedule was used to assess the adjustment level of the parents. The results indicated that the parents experienced stress due to certain characteristics of their child namely, adaptability, demandingness and inability to positively reinforce parent. Also parents felt incompetent at handling their child and felt isolated. The coping styles adopted their child and isolated. The coping styles adopted by the subjects varied, as certain coping styles were preferred over the others. Results also indicated that a large number of parents mere maladjusted and in need of professional assistance.