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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2019 Mar 12;17(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s12955-019-1117-x.

A psychometric study of the Family Resilience Assessment Scale among families of children with autism spectrum disorder.

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BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, 950 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4H4, Canada.
Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3V4, Canada.
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.



The family system represents a critical context within which children develop. Although raising a child with a disability may represent a challenge to this dynamic system, research demonstrates that families have the capacity to demonstrate both maladaptation and resilience in the face of related stressors. In the current study, we examined the psychometric properties of the Family Resilience Assessment Scale (FRAS) among families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This tool is the only measure of family resilience that seeks to identify within-family protective factors, including the extent to which they rely on adaptive belief systems, organizational patterns, and communication processes. Identifying protective processes utilized by those who show resilience is critical within both clinical practice and research, as it aligns with a strength-based perspective that builds on what families are doing well.


Participants included 174 caregivers of individuals with ASD (84% mothers). Caregivers completed the FRAS, as well as the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale. The 54-item FRAS was submitted to an exploratory factor analysis, using the iterated principal factor method with a promax rotation.


Fifty-one items across 3 factors (Family Communication and Problem Solving, Utilizing Social and Economic Resources, Family Spirituality) were retained, explaining 52% of the total variance. The final scale demonstrated convergent validity with the Family Quality of Life assessment tool.


It is our hope that identifying the optimal scale structure will encourage other researchers to utilize this measure with families of children with ASD, thus continuing to advance the study of family resilience within this unique context.


Assessment; Autism spectrum disorder; Factor analysis; Family quality of life; Family resilience

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