The Couple’s Congruence of Child’s Illness Perception and the Quality of Marital Relationship
The spouses’ congruence regarding perceptions about the disease was usually analyzed in the context of intimate partner physical illness and the results showed that couple’s congruence of disease perception positively correlated with patients’ quality of life, adjustment to illness, and relationship satisfaction. In the same time, some studies consider that a strong perception on the child's illness causes psychological distress. The study aims to test whether couple’ congruence regarding child's illness perception has an influence on the quality of marital relationship, operationalized by couple satisfaction, parental stress, dyadic coping and resilience family. This research involved 106 parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (53 of maried couples). The results show a significant effect of couple’ congruence of child's illness perceptions on marital satisfaction F (2.103) = 3.61, p = .03, parental stress F (2.103) = 17.89, p <.001, dyadic coping F (2.103) = 9.23, p <.001 and family resilience, F (2.103) = 10.43, p <.001.The results indicate a decreasing trend of marital satisfaction, family resilience and dyadic coping and an increasing trend of parenting stress when the couple congruence of illness perception grows. Our results are discussed in the context of their relevance for the therapy of families with children who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorders.
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