While the adverse effects of raising a child with autism are well demonstrated, there have been few reports of the post-traumatic growth of mothers of children with autism. The purpose of this research was to explore dimensions of post-traumatic growth in this population in Mainland China and identify the factors facilitating post-traumatic growth. A total of 11 mothers of pre-school children were recruited from five rehabilitation centres of children with disabilities in Shanghai. The semi-structured interviews were conducted between August 2012 and October 2012 and analysed using thematic analysis. The data partially confirmed Tedeschi and Calhoun's model of post-traumatic growth. A new philosophy of life, appreciation of life, relating to others, personal strength and spiritual change were five domains of post-traumatic growth in mothers of children with autism. Perceived social support, peer example, effective coping style and self-efficacy enhancement were facilitating factors of post-traumatic growth. Further studies are needed to understand how to promote the post-traumatic growth of mothers of children with autism.
Author(s): Wei Zhang, Ting Ting Yan, Louise K. Barriball, Alison E. While & Hong Xiao
Journal: Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
Disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorders