A Qualitative Study of Coping in Mothers of Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Heather Miller Kuhaneck, Sacred Heart University
Tajhma Burroughs
Jamie Wright
Theresa Lemanczyk
Amy Rowntree Darragh, Ohio State University - Main Campus

Originally published:

Kuhaneck, Heather Miller et al. "A Qualitative Study Of Coping In Mothers Of Children With An Autism Spectrum Disorder." Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics 30.4 (2010): 340-350.

DOI: 10.3109/01942638.2010.481662


A significant body of research exists that explores the stressors of raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are fewer studies, however, that examine specific effective coping strategies of mothers of children with an ASD. This qualitative study explored mothers’ perceptions of effective coping strategies for their parenting stressors. In-depth interviews were conducted with 11 mothers to inquire about their personal coping methods. Interviews were coded and emergent themes identified which included coping strategies such as “me time,” “planning,” “knowledge is power,” “sharing the load,” “lifting the restraints of labels,” and “recognizing the joys.” The information from this study may benefit mothers of children with ASD and inform pediatric therapists providing services to children with ASD and their families.