Department of Child Care & Family Studies (Original Early Childhood Care and Education), Shu-Te University
Student：Wan-Jung Ko Advisor：Dr. Hsiu-Shuo Hu
The Study on the Stress and Coping of Well-siblings of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
This study was designed to investigate and depict the awareness of stress and coping of well-siblings of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). In order to assure the reliability of this qualitative research, after delineating main scope of the study, purposeful sampling was employed. Three well-siblings of ASD, their parents, and well-siblings’ elementary school teachers were interviewed to reach rigorous triangulation principle. According to the literature review and a pilot study, semi-structured interview outlines were developed to collect the data. The thickness and rich interpretation of research results were attained by using cross-case analysis to analyze; induce the similarities and differences among three cases.
The results showed that there were three types of stress of well-siblings of children with ASD. Firstly, was the stress of well-siblings’ striving the best. This stress resulted in the self-concept of interaction of well-siblings and children with ASD entailing conflict due to the characteristics of the children with ASD. The conflict of self-concept in the interactive process including daily interference, inappropriate behaviors of the children with ASD, the safety concerns about children with ASD, and the self- value as a family member. Secondly, was to identify the stress of parents’ expectations. The expectations for well-siblings included sharing the responsibility of looking after children with ASD, being a future caregiver, and being independent individuals. Lastly, was the stress of social culture resulting from the peculiar perception and attitude of peers. To be noted that the awareness of the stress of well-siblings of children with ASD had both positive and negative effects on themselves; however, it was related to the child-rearing practice. Consistent with family system theory, when parents willingly accepted the characteristics of the children with ASD and took positive child-rearing practice, the following positive impacts were shown in well-siblings, such as caregiving skills, acceptance towards the children with ASD, independence, and empathy. There were several negative impacts including jealousy, unfair feeling, and limited social life due to the demanding of children with ASD in parents.
In addition, well-siblings’ internal self-efficacy played an important role on their coping, the higher self-efficacy the well-siblings had, the more confident they would think that they could deal with all the problems and inconvenience caused by the children with ASD. As a result, they took proactive attitude by changing subject while talking to peers or choosing alternative name instead of ASD. However, once the well-siblings had lower self-efficacy they would take negative avoidance as a response, furthermore, they couldn’t tolerate the inappropriate behaviors of children with ASD, and choose self-isolated or display challenging behaviors. Besides, the external social support from parents enhanced well-siblings’ coping. This interactive effect among family members did validate family system theory.
Key words：Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders 、Well-Sibling、Stress、Coping