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Social Support and Family Functioning in Chinese Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

by 1,2 and 2,3,*
1
Faculty of Special Education, Leshan Normal University, Leshan 614000, China
2
Center of Evidence-based Education & Arts Therapies, Faculty of Education, Palacky University, 79900 Olomouc, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Special Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Palacky University, 79900 Olomouc, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073504
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 20 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 28 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Disabilities)
Families caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have reported poorer family functioning. Social support might strengthen family functioning, but limited research to date has focused on this association in China. This study conducted a cross-sectional survey of Chinese families that have children with ASD to examine the relationship between social support and family functioning. Caregivers of children with ASD from Sichuan province in China (N = 167) were surveyed concerning their perceived social support and family functioning. The Social Support Rating Scale was used to investigate caregivers’ perceived social support from three dimensions: subjective support, objective support, and the utilization of support. A Chinese version of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale was used to investigate their perceptions of family cohesion and adaptability. The Pearson correlation coefficient and stepwise multiple regression were used for analyses. The results suggested that social support was positively related to family cohesion and adaptability. Of the three sub-domains of social support, both subjective support and the utilization of support were positively associated with family cohesion and adaptability. The study’s findings evidenced the importance of different types of social support and could be used to develop a targeted support service for families that have children with ASD to improve their family functioning and sustain the family unit. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; caregivers; families; family functioning; social support autism spectrum disorder; caregivers; families; family functioning; social support
MDPI and ACS Style

Lei, X.; Kantor, J. Social Support and Family Functioning in Chinese Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073504

AMA Style

Lei X, Kantor J. Social Support and Family Functioning in Chinese Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(7):3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073504

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lei, Xianmei, and Jiří Kantor. 2021. "Social Support and Family Functioning in Chinese Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 7: 3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073504

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