Cognitive coping strategies, emotional distress and quality of life in mothers of children with ASD and ADHD—A comparative study in a Romanian population sample


The Quality of Life (QoL) represents a dimension of the overall status and of the wellbeing that might be influenced by various factors. Mothers’ emotional and behavioral reactions, when having a child with diagnosis of mental disorder, are different depending on the emotional distress and cognitive coping strategies used. The aim of this study was to assess the cognitive coping strategies, emotional distress and the relationship between them and the quality of life in mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared to mothers of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Data were collected from 114 mothers of children with diagnosis of ASD or ADHD. Different psychological measurements have been used in order to assess the quality of life (Family Quality of Life Survey) cognitive coping strategies (Cognitive-Emotional Regulation Questionnaire) and emotional distress (Profile of Affective Distress) of the parents. For QOL and emotional distress, we didn’t find significant differences between the two groups. The coping strategies of the mothers of children with ASD that significantly correlated with the overall assessment of the family quality were: positive refocusing, positive reevaluation and catastrophizing. The results suggest that the use of adaptive coping strategies correlates with a higher family quality of life, while for the maladaptive ones, the relationship is reversed.

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Predescu, E. and Şipoş, R. (2013) Cognitive coping strategies, emotional distress and quality of life in mothers of children with ASD and ADHD—A comparative study in a Romanian population sample. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 11-17. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.32A003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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