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01-09-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2021

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2021

Personal Growth Experience among Parents of Children with Autism Participating in Intervention

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 6/2021
Xiao-yu Liu, Siu-ming To
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-020-04681-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Guided by Pals’ (in: McStay (ed) Identity and story: Creating self in narrative, American Psychological Association, Washington DC, 2006) model of self-making through a narrative lens in the context of adversity, this study investigated not only the difficulties but also the personal growth that parents have experienced while participating in the interventions with their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in mainland China. Based on interviews with 16 purposively sampled parents, thematic analysis revealed themes concerning the parents’ acknowledgment of stressful events and their emotional reactions, meanings of their experiences constructed through causal connections, and outcomes of their perceived improvement in self-understanding, parent–child relationships, and philosophies on life. Largely consistent with this theoretical model, such findings highlight the uniqueness of the personal growth process of parents of children with ASD in China’s sociocultural context.

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