Factors that impact on adjustment in parents of children with a learning disability and/ or autism spectrum disorder
ackground Previous research has shown that parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and/ or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more psychologically distressed than parents of neuro‐typical children. The literature suggests that there is significant variation in the rates of maladjustment within this population, and the research into factors that influence parental adjustment is developing. This study aims to add to the research into the factors influencing adjustment to parenting a child with LD/ ASD. In particular, relatively under‐researched concepts such as parental acceptance, time since diagnosis, and the influence of informational support to understand a child’s needs, will be explored. Method Two hundred and thirty five parents of children aged 4‐19 participated in a questionnaire study, conducted through local additional support needs (ASN) schools and bases. Measures of psychological adjustment were gathered alongside measures of acceptance, positive gains, level of child’s challenging behaviour and demographic information. Results Along with other variables, psychological acceptance and was found to account for significant variance in parental adjustment. There were no observed relationships between adjustment and time since diagnosis, or level of informational support. Conclusions The results have implications for the understanding of the role of acceptance in parent adjustment. Implications for intervention development and future research directions are discussed, in addition to the methodological limits of the study.