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Employing a cohort sequential design, the effects of network characteristics on maternal cognitions (perceived social support and parenting self-efficacy) and mental health (depression and well-being) were assessed over 7 years when children with ASD of mothers in the study were age 7–14. Findings indicated that network size, network emotional support, and network instrumental support were positively related to perceived support, while network availability and emotional support were positively linked to self-efficacy. In addition, network support exerted direct and indirect effects on maternal depression and well-being, with cognitive resources mediating the social network-mental health relationship. Finally, consistent with the support-efficacy model, parenting efficacy partially mediated the effects of perceived support on maternal mental health outcomes. Study findings and implications are discussed.
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- The Longitudinal Effects of Network Characteristics on the Mental Health of Mothers of Children with ASD: The Mediating Role of Parent Cognitions
Paul R. Benson
- Springer US