The impact of parenting stress: a meta-analysis of studies comparing the experience of parenting stress in parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Mar;43(3):629-42. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1604-y.


Researchers commonly report that families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience more parenting stress than families of typically developing (TD) children or those diagnosed with other disabilities [e.g., Down syndrome (DS), cerebral palsy, intellectual disability]. The authors reexamined the research using comparison groups to investigate parenting stress and conducted a meta-analysis to pool results across studies. The experience of stress in families of children with ASD versus families of TD children resulted in a large effect size. Comparisons between families of children of ASD and families with other disabilities also generated a large effect size however, this result should be interpreted with caution as it may be associated with the specific experience of parenting a child with DS.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive*
  • Humans
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*