Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 91 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Elana Gordis

Committee Members

Leslie F Halpern, Drew Anderson


Children with autism spectrum disorders, Stress (Psychology), Families, Parents of autistic children, Parent and child

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology


It is well documented that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to exhibit more problem behaviors compared to typical peers; moreover, parents of children with ASD are more likely to report experiencing greater parental and family stress. The current study set out to shed light on the ways and degree to which problem behaviors in children with ASD may impact multiple aspects of family life. The potential moderating role of family resources and perceived support, including emotional, physical, and disability-related support, along with certain parenting behaviors, was also explored. Participants included parents/caregivers of children diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 3-9 years who completed self-report measures. Results indicated significant associations between child problem behaviors and negative impact on multiple domains of family functioning. Furthermore, significant associations were found between reported satisfaction with availability of family supports and negative impact on family functioning. Multiple regression was conducted to determine if parenting behaviors and/or availability of family supports moderated the relationship between problem behaviors and negative impact on family functioning. Results did not indicate significant moderating effects.