• KAWTHAR ZUBAIR MALLA College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
  • PERJAN HASHIM TAHA College of Medicine, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
Keywords: Autistic child, Psychological burden, Mother, Children, Hope, Resilience


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability includes deficits in social, communication skills and repetitive behaviors. The aim of the study was to compare the levels of psychological burden, hope, and resilience of mothers who have autistic child in comparison to mothers who have normal child.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted using a non-random sampling of 195 mothers of autistic child selected from governmental and private autism centers and a comparative group of mothers of normal children from Duhok province Iraq in a period of three months from 15th November 2021 to 15th February 2022. A battery of instruments was used to assess psychological burden, hope and resilience.

RESULTS: The study revealed that the stress, anxiety, and depression level mean scores were higher in mothers who have autistic child, Stress; (M=23.31, SD=5.442), Anxiety; (M=11.78, SD=4.045), and Depression;  (M=13.24, SD=4.744) compared to scores in non-autistic mothers (M=7.48, SD=4.576), (M=4.16, SD=2.643), and (M=4.91, SD=2.852) respectively. Furthermore, the hope and resilience mean scores were lower in mothers who have autistic child hope; (M=35.18, SD=7.716) and resilience; (M=2.82, SD=0.608) respectively, compared to scores in non-autistic mothers (M=47.69, SD=5.371) and (M=3.86, SD=0.481) respectively. The study found that staying in the center and being a divorced mother were the mostly demographic factor having highly significant relationship with psychological burden, hope, and resilience.

CONCLUSIONS: The mothers of autistic children were significantly experiencing higher level of psychological burden and a lower level of hope and resilience as compared to mothers who have normal children. These findings are important for mental health planning for mothers of autistic children


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