This paper is part of a larger study looking at the impact on 60 families of having a child with autistic spectrum disorder. Here the roles played by organised religion and personal beliefs and their relationship with health status are explored. The DSM-IV, and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, were used to confirm diagnosis and measure the severity of autism. A questionnaire was used to investigate support from organised religion and personal beliefs. The General Health Questionnaire was used to assess health. Participants reported receiving significantly less support from their organised religion than from their personal beliefs. Higher scores on support from personal beliefs, particularly the use of prayer, were associated with better health.

Author(s): Patricia Coulthard & Michael Fitzgerald

Journal: Mental Health, Religion & Culture

Date: 1999

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 19-33

DOI: 10.1080/13674679908406329

Databased: Yes

Disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Categories: Congregations, Families