The role of resilience and socio-economic status in the parenting of children with autism spectrum disorder in South Africa

The purpose of this study was to understand the role of resilience and socio-economic status (SES) in the parenting of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in 3 South Africa cities (Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban). This study also intended to understand the extent to which SES moderated the relationship between resilience and parental daily stresses. A total of 102 parents of children with ASD completed three measures (Family Resilience Assessment Scale, Parental Daily Hassles Scale and Hollingshead Two Factor Index). Pearson’s correlation revealed significant moderate correlations between parental daily hassles (frequency and intensity scales), Family Resilience Assessment Scale, and SES. A regression analysis illustrated that the parent’s gender was a significant contributor in the daily hassles of parents (Frequency and Intensity). A t-test analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between fathers and mothers in favour of the latter on Parental Daily Hassles Frequency and Intensity. A stepwise regression illustrated that SES moderated the relationship between Resilience and Parental Hassles (Intensity). The family’s SES levels had a significant impact in the resilience levels of the parents such that lower SES parents were faced with more micro level challenges that impacted in their parenting.
A research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MA in Psychology by Coursework and Dissertation, in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 05 May 2015.