Fathers Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stories of Marital Stability as Key to Parenting Success.
Authors of this article are:
Lashewicz B, Boettcher N, Lo A, Shipton L, Parrott B.
A summary of the article is shown below:
Using media reports of high divorce rates among couples of children with ASD as a point of departure, our purpose in this paper is to examine how married fathers of children with ASD understand their marriages relative to the demands of ASD and in the context of media reports of elevated divorce rates among parents raising children with ASD. We begin with a review of select literature pertaining to the impact of ASD on marriages and we include a brief account of popular media portrayals of the influence of having a child with a developmental disability, and ASD in particular, on marriages. We then describe our qualitative examination of narrative interview data from 26 married fathers raising children with ASD aged 2-13 beginning with our theoretical anchoring in social comparison to focus our attention on how fathers compare themselves with media accounts of elevated divorce rates among parents of children and also with other hypothetical family configurations. Our findings are evidence of fathers’ strong and strengthened commitments to marriages and we illustrate a re-purposing of inflated portrayals of divorce rates to shore up fathers’ sense of their own effectiveness as husbands and fathers.
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Autism;divorce rates;fathers;marriage;social comparison
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