“The stress can be unbearable, but the good times are like finding gold”: A phase one modelling survey to inform the development of a self-help positive reappraisal coping intervention for caregivers of those with autism spectrum disorder

Deborah Lancastle*, Joanna Hill, Susan Faulkner, Alecia L. Cousins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Caregivers of individuals with ASD can experience various practical, psychological, and social demands and need effective ways of coping to ameliorate the negative effects of caregiving. Numerous coping strategies are available, but the literature shows that caregivers can still struggle to cope, suggesting that interventions to support coping efforts could be beneficial. The MRC framework advocates the systematic development and evaluation of interventions, and this study was conducted to inform the future development of a self-help Positive Reappraisal Coping Intervention (PRCI) for these caregivers. The aim was to establish whether positive reappraisal coping strategies were used and associated with greater psychological wellbeing, prior to developing such an intervention. Method. Caregivers of individuals with ASD (N = 112) responded to items from an existing PRCI (Lancastle, 2006; Lancastle & Boivin, 2008), by writing about aspects of caregiving that reflected the meaning of each item. They also completed questionnaires assessing resilience, caregiving burden, and positive and negative emotions. Results. Participants provided significantly more positive responses than negative responses to PRCI items, demonstrating their use of positive reappraisal coping. Thematic analyses showed that positive responses focused on factors such as their loved one’s personality and achievements, the contributions caregivers had made to this person’s progress, the support received, and their own personal development. Positive reappraisal coping was associated with greater resilience, more positive and less negative emotions, and a lesser sense of caregiver burden. Conclusion. This modelling study suggests that positive reappraisal strategies were used by caregivers and associated with greater psychological wellbeing. The findings will inform the development of a self-help PRCI for the caregivers of those with ASD. Future studies will systematically evaluate that PRCI to determine the nature of intervention effects and mediators and moderators of effects.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0264837
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date3 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Research Article
  • Medicine and health sciences
  • Biology and life sciences
  • Social sciences
  • People and places

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“The stress can be unbearable, but the good times are like finding gold”: A phase one modelling survey to inform the development of a self-help positive reappraisal coping intervention for caregivers of those with autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this