Psychological Well-being in Fathers of Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, and Autism

Sigan L. Hartley, Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Lara Head, Leonard J Abbeduto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The psychological well-being of fathers of children with developmental disabilities remains poorly understood. The present study examined depressive symptoms, pessimism, and coping in fathers of adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome (DS;n = 59), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs;n = 135), and Fragile X syndrome (n = 46). Fathers of sons or daughters with ASDs reported a higher level of depressive symptoms than the other groups of fathers. Fathers of sons or daughters with DS reported a lower level of pessimism than the other groups of fathers. There were no group differences in paternal coping style. Group differences in paternal depressive symptoms and pessimism were, in part, related to differences in paternal age, the child's behavior problems, risk of having additional children with a disability, and maternal depressive symptoms. Findings from this study can be used to educate providers and design services for fathers during the later parenting years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-342
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Relations
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • At-risk children and families
  • Autism
  • Caregiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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