|Keywords:||Autism Spectrum Disorder; Double ABCX Model; Caregiver; Parents; Stress; Personality; Big 5; ASD; Transition|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1805/12267|
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) The study examined the impact of the big 5 personality traits on caregiver burden during the period when individuals with ASD transition from high school. Participants (N = 117) were caregivers of individuals with ASD who either will graduate within two years or graduated from high school within the past two years. Participants completed questionnaires measuring study variables predicted to be associated with caregiver burden as guided by the Double ABCX model of family adaptation, i.e., autism symptom severity, problem behaviors, pile-up of life demands, personality traits, social support, cognitive appraisals, and coping strategies. Primary caregivers reported moderate burden in the transition period. Specifically, although caregivers experienced stress in the transition period, they were less overwhelmed than the period when ones child first receive the ASD diagnosis. Increased problem behaviors, higher neuroticism, lower extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness, lower levels of social support, fewer use of challenge appraisals, and greater use of threat appraisals and passive-avoidance coping strategies predicted greater caregiver burden. Passive-avoidance coping mediated the relationship between caregiving stress and four personality traits respectively (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness). The results support the potential importance of personality traits in explaining differences in caregiver stress in families of those with ASD and further indicated that the association between personality and burden was mediated by caregivers use of maladaptive coping strategies, i.e., passive-avoidance coping. The findings also have potential applicability for interventions to reduce caregiver burden. Several factors were identified that could help alleviate the stress. For example, parents should be encouraged to avoid using threat appraisals and passive-avoidance coping strategies. In addition, interventions could be developed to provide support or strategies to parents to handle childs behavioral problems and thus reduce stress.Advisors/Committee Members: McGrew, John H..