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Res Dev Disabil. 2014 Mar;35(3):686-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.12.007. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Highly resilient coping entails better perceived health, high social support and low morning cortisol levels in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 21, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: Nicolas.Ruiz@uv.es.
2
Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 21, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: Sara.Deandres@uv.es.
3
Department of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 21, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: Josefa.Perez@uv.es.
4
Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 21, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: Esperanza.Gonzalez@uv.es.
5
Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 21, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: Luis.Moya@uv.es.

Abstract

The negative consequences of caring for people with developmental disabilities have been widely described. However, the ability to bounce back from the stress derived from care situations has been less studied. Those caregivers who have shown this ability are considered as resilient. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between resilience and self-reported health and cortisol awakening response (CAR) in a sample of caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It also aims to evaluate the role of social support as a mediator in the association between resilience and health. Caregivers with higher resilience show better perceived health, lower morning cortisol levels, and less area under the curve with respect to ground (AUCg). Social support was positively related to resilience and mediated the relationship between resilience and perceived health. This mediating effect was not found in the association between resilience and CAR. Resilience could be a protective factor that modulates the negative consequences of chronic stress in the care context. Social support could be an important variable mediating the effects of resilience on health outcomes in caregivers. All these results must be considered when implementing effective psychological programs for helping caregivers.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; Cortisol awakening response; Health; Informal caregiver; Social support

PMID:
24405793
DOI:
10.1016/j.ridd.2013.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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