Title : The importance of parental self-efficacy and social support for family quality of life in children newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder: A one-year follow-up study
Poor family quality of life (FQOL) negatively affects the intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and leads to adverse physical and psychosocial outcomes for both children and their families. Parental self-efficacy and social support are critical for the well-being of families. However, longitudinal studies focusing on FQOL and its predictors for families of children with ASD are scarce. To prospectively examine longitudinal trends in perceived FQoL among parents of children with ASD during the first year after diagnosis and explore the predictive effects of parental self-efficacy and social support on FQoL. This two-wave follow-up study was conducted in a level III hospital in Guangzhou, China. A total of 156 parents of children newly diagnosed with ASD were included in the first wave, and 110 parents were followed up after one year. General estimate equations were used to explore the predictors of FQoL. The satisfaction rating for the overall FQoL improved, while satisfaction with physical/material well-being decreased during the first year. The importance rating of FQOL remained stable throughout the study period, but emotional well-being scored the lowest. Parents with higher parenting self-efficacy and more objective and subjective social support reported higher satisfaction with FQoL and those with higher parenting self-efficacy and better social support utilization reported higher importance for FQoL. FQoL needs to be improved for parents of children with ASD in the early stage of diagnosis, especially in the satisfaction with physical/material well-being and the importance in emotional well-being. Parenting self-efficacy and social support can serve as targets for improving FQoL.
Audience Take Away:
- This research may be helpful to to professionals working with families of children with ASD, such as pediatricians, nurses, social workers and educators. The findings can help those professionals understanding the factors that contribute to the quality of life for parents of children with ASD and provide insight into how to support families better.
- The research may also be useful for other researchers who are interested in exploring the predictors of FQoL in families of children with ASD or conducting longitudinal studies in this population. By understanding the factors that influence FQoL, designers can create more inclusive and supportive environments that meet the needs of families of children with ASD.
- Overall, this research provides valuable information that can inform interventions and support for families of children with ASD, ultimately improving their quality of life.