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Autism. 2019 Aug;23(6):1384-1397. doi: 10.1177/1362361318812434. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Leisure time and family functioning in families living with autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Abstract

Family leisure can provide opportunities for both enjoyment and family growth. However, families of children with autism spectrum disorder experience multiple barriers to engaging in satisfying family leisure activities. This study surveyed parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (n = 112) and parents of children with typical development (n = 123) to examine relationships among family leisure involvement, leisure satisfaction, family functioning, and satisfaction with family life. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder reported a similar amount of leisure involvement as families of typically developing children. However, they reported lower leisure satisfaction, poorer family functioning, and less satisfaction with family life. Mediation models suggested that low leisure satisfaction was related to less effective family communication, which in turn led to poorer family functioning and less satisfaction with family life. Amount of time spent in leisure made relatively small contributions to predicting other family variables. These results suggest that leisure-focused interventions for families of children with autism spectrum disorder should focus on improving quality, rather than quantity, of family leisure time.

KEYWORDS:

autism spectrum disorders; family functioning and support; leisure

PMID:
30466294
PMCID:
PMC6531365
[Available on 2020-08-01]
DOI:
10.1177/1362361318812434

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