Title

Quality of life among compound caregivers and noncompound caregivers of adults with autism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Department/School

Social Work

Publication Title

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

Abstract

© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reaching adulthood and require some form of lifelong care. Many parents continue caring for their adult children with ASD for as long as physically possible. As parents age, many also may provide care for another loved one, such a spouse or parent. This study compares compound (those providing care for multiple loved ones) and noncompound parental caregivers (those providing care solely for an adult child with ASD) on six dimensions of quality of life (enjoys life, life is meaningful, ability to concentrate, accepts bodily appearance, satisfied with self, and frequency of negative feelings). Specifically, this study determined the extent to which compound and noncompound caregivers’ quality of life differed. The present study included 320 parents (age 50 or older) of adult children (18 or older) diagnosed with ASD who completed a web-based survey. T-tests for independent samples compared the six dimensions and overall quality of life between compound and noncompound caregivers. Results indicated that compound caregivers were less able to concentrate and had fewer negative feelings than noncompound caregivers. Further research is needed to determine the effects of caregiving on the multidimensional aspects of quality of life.

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