Life After an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis: A Comparison of Stress and Coping Profiles of African American and Euro-American Caregivers

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Mar;49(3):1024-1034. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3802-8.


The purpose of the present study was to understand how caregiver stress and coping behaviors impact African American and Euro-American families differently when caring for a child with autism. This study used discriminate function analysis to contrast the stress and coping profiles of Euro-American caregivers who are more acculturated with the majority culture with African American caregivers who ascribe to more traditional values. A sample of 103 families was recruited (52 Euro-American, 51 African American). African American families reported significantly more stress and utilizing more varied coping strategies than their Euro-American counterparts. Additional differences were found between the high and low acculturated African American groups such that low acculturated African Americans were more likely to engage in religious coping.

Keywords: African American families; Autism spectrum disorder; Coping; Religion; Stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological* / physiology
  • Adult
  • African Americans / ethnology
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / ethnology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • United States / ethnology