COGNITIVE VULNERABILITY AND ADJUSTMENT TO HAVING A CHILD WITH A DISABILITY IN PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER
Alexandru TIBA*1, Caroline JOHNSON2, Andreea VADINEANU3
1Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
3 Centre for Child and Family Support, Oradea, Romania
Raising a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be associated with considerable distress, requiring continuing adjustment on the part of parents. This study examined the relationship between cognitive vulnerability factors such as negative automatic thoughts, irrational beliefs and meta-cognitive beliefs, and positive and negative emotions in parents of children with ASD. Twenty seven parents of children diagnosed with ASD completed questionnaires measuring frequency of negative automatic thoughts, irrational beliefs related to raising a child with a disability, meta-cognitive beliefs regarding negative and positive emotions, positive and negative emotions, and problem child behavior. Results indicated that irrational beliefs and negative meta-cognitive beliefs about positive emotions are salient cognitive vulnerability factors contributing to fewer positive emotions in parents of children with ASD. It is concluded that interventions for promoting positive coping and resilience in parents of children with ASD should consider cognitive vulnerability factors such as irrational beliefs and negative metacognitive beliefs about positive emotions and their potential effect on positive emotions.
Keywords: cognitive vulnerability, adaptation of parents of children with ASD, irrational beliefs, meta-cognitive beliefs, positive negative emotions