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Predictive values of social support,coping styles and stress level in posttraumatic growth and burnout levels among the parents of children with autism

Elçi, Özcan
The purpose of the present study was to examine the predictive power of some demographic variables and ways of coping, social support and perceived stress level in predicting burnout and posttraumatic growth levels of parents who have a child with autism. Data was collected by administering a socio-demographic form and four self-report questionnaires. These were the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress Short Form (QRS), Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Ways of Coping Inventory (WCI), and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). 136 adults representing 58 parent couples and 13 mothers and 7 fathers, with 71 mothers and 65 fathers who had a child with autism participated in this study. Data was collected in Özel Ilgi Special Education School, Baris Special Education School, Ankara University Center of Research for Children with Autism (OÇEM), Bagcilar School for Children with Autism and Hacettepe University Child Psychiatry Clinic. The factor analysis of the MBI yielded two of the three factors of the original factor structure. The depersonalization factor was not found in this sample. It was found that, mothers were experiencing significantly higher emotional exhaustion than the fathers. The regression analysis results revealed that social support and problem solving/optimistic coping were significant predictors of posttraumatic growth among mothers. Social support, problem solving/optimistic coping, religiosity, age, years of marriage were the significant predictors of posttraumatic growth among fathers. Stress level was the only significant predictor of burnout and emotional exhaustion among mothers. Stress level was a significant predictor of both burnout and emotional exhaustion among fathers, but helplessness/self blaming approach was also a significant predictor of paternal burnout. Social support,