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J Autism Dev Disord. 1991 Dec;21(4):407-16.

Hardiness and social support as predictors of psychological discomfort in mothers of children with autism.

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  • 1Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, Piscataway 08854-0819.


Mothers of 60 children with autism participated in this study to measure the effects of social support and hardiness on the women's responses to the stressful demands of raising a child with a disability. MANOVA analysis indicated a significant main effect for hardiness, Wilks' lambda = .859, approx. F(2, 55) = 4.494, p less than .02. There were no main effects for social support, or for the interaction of social support and hardiness. In regression analyses, the best combination of predictors of depressive symptoms were the Commitment dimension on the Hardiness Questionnaire and the total score on the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List social support inventory, mult. R = .783, p less than .001. The best predictor of somatic complaints was total Hardiness score, mult. R = .698, p less than .01. There was a significant correlation between hardiness and perceived social support, r(57) = -.67, p less than .001. Results are discussed in terms of the relationship between perceived social support and hardiness and the potential buffering effect of these dimensions.

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