Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10620/18222
Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: The psychological and physical health of fathers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder compared to fathers of children with long-term disabilities and fathers of children without disabilities
Authors: Giallo, R 
Seymour, Monique 
Giallo, Rebecca 
Wood, Catherine 
Issue Date: 2017
Keywords: Fathers
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Psychological distress
Physical health issues
Abstract: Background The psychological and physical health of fathers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is under-researched. Due to the unique parenting demands, fathers of children with ASD may be at increased risk of experiencing psychological and physical health difficulties compared to fathers of children without disabilities (W/OD) and fathers of children with other long-term disabilities (LTD). What little research there is on fathers of children with ASD is often conducted on small clinical samples, or embeds the experiences of fathers within other groups. Aim The current study aimed to explore the extent to which fathers of children with ASD experience psychological distress and physical health issues (e.g., general health, smoking, chronic pain) compared to fathers of children W/OD and fathers of children with a LTD. Method From a large, nationally representative sample of children, 159 fathers of children with ASD were identified, along with 45 fathers of children with a LTD and 6578 fathers of children W/OD. Results The majority of fathers were experiencing good psychological and physical health. Approximately 1 in 6 fathers of children with ASD were experiencing elevated levels of psychological distress and poor global health, and were at significantly greater risk than fathers of children W/OD; although these differences were not found compared to fathers of children with a LTD. Conclusions Some fathers of children with ASD may require additional support which not only focuses on their psychological wellbeing but also fathers’ physical health. The current findings encourage health services to check-in with, or reach-out to fathers as they too may require additional support.
URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891422217301919
Keywords: Stress -- Coping mechanisms; Families -- Fathers; Health -- Disability
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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