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Perceptive social support among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder

Ana Rita Curval, Ana Isabel Igreja, Victor Viana, Micaela Guardiano.

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Social support, especially as provided by close family and friends, has been consistently identified as one of the most powerful predictors of psychological adjustment among parents raising children with ASD.
Material and methods:
A cross-sectional study including 51 parents of children with ASD was carried out in our pediatric development department. The objective of the study was to verify the degree of satisfaction of the participants regarding their family, friends, intimacy, and social activities.
There was a negative correlation between the children’s age and the degree of parental satisfaction. There was a statistically significant association between the parents' educational level and the degree of satisfaction reported by them in all domains, except for the family domain.
Based on study findings regarding the importance of help from parents’ informal social network, special attention in this regard should be focused on developing services that assist parents in making more effective use of existing sources of support from family members, friends, and other parents of children with ASD.

Key words: Autism spectrum disorder; Parents; Social support; Family; Friends

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