HomeThe Paulinian Compassvol. 2 no. 3 (2012)

 Level of Stress of Parents with Children Diagnosed with Autism: Differences and Relationship with their Coping Mechanism

Amelia B. Callos

Discipline: Psychology



The study, which adopted the descriptive-correlational type of research, investigated the relationship of the demographic variables among parents of children diagnosed with autism (i.e., age, gender, occupation, number of children, and educational attainment) with their level of stress and their coping mechanisms. Twenty parent-respondents whose children were diagnosed with autism and are currently enrolled in the Gen. Maximino Hizon Elementary School located in Tondo, Manila participated in the study. Standard psychological tests, particularly the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress (QRS-F) and the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIPs), were used in the study to measure the level of stress and coping mechanisms of the target respondents with the end in view of helping parents effectively deal with their children’s disability. Descriptive measures used in the study include the mean, percentage, and standard deviation and inferential techniques, such as the t-test and the Pearson coefficient of correlation. Statistical analysis of the quantitative data was undertaken with the aid of the software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). 


Majority of the respondents are employed females, within the 20 to 35 year old age bracket; have one or two children, one of which is diagnosed with autism; and either have reached the college level or hold a college degree. Findings also showed that the parents’ stress level is generally medium, suggesting that they have somehow adjusted to their children’s situation and are aware of what autism is. Among the recommendations forwarded is monthly two-way feedback of the children’s performance in school and at home so that further interventions can be designed both for parents and their autistic children. Additionally, based on the findings of the study, further studies were suggested to consider stress among male parents, to examine which parent of an autistic child is more affected by the child’s situation and which has better coping mechanism.