Autism is a chronic, debilitating condition that begins in childhood and is associated with burnout and sometimes even depression and anxiety in families. The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between resilience and anxiety-depression-stress among families of children with autism in 2018.
Materials and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, after the Ethics Committee approval, according to the calculated sample size, 137 members of the families of children with autism were selected randomly. They were self-questioned themselves by family resilience scale, and also DASS-21 questionnaires, along with the checklist of variables such as number of family members, marital status, educational level, income, background of physical and mental disorders, age and sex. After data collection, they were entered into and analyzed by MS Excel and SPSS V.24 software.
The mean age of the subjects was 40.67 years (± 9.12) with the range of 42 years. 80 persons (58.4%) were female and 57 (41.6%) were male, most of who had a bachelor's degree (51.7%), and generally were married (78.8%) (Living with family). They often had a history of chronic physical (84.7%) or mental illness (95.6%). The mean of the family resilience scores was 193 (± 25) and its range was 124. There was no significant correlation between age/gender and resilience, but depression, anxiety and stress were related to the level of resiliency. Regarding the rate of depression, 51.8% were normal, 10.2% had mild depression, 22.6% had moderate depression, 10.2% had severe depression and 5.1% had very severe depression; income and history of mental illness were significantly associated with depression. In addition, the level of anxiety was 46% normal, 8% mild, 17.5% moderate, 11.7% severe and 16.8% very severe. The number of family members, educational level, income, and history of mental illness had a significant effect on people's anxiety. Also, the stress status of the studied samples were 43.8%, 12.4%, 26.3%, 10.9% and 6.6% normal, mild, moderate, severe and very severe, respectively. The level of education, income, history of mental illness and gender were statistically significant with the level of stress among individuals.
Based on the results of this study, it is concluded that family resilience is a factor that directly correlates with the level of depression, anxiety and stress among the family members of the autistic children. It is therefore advisable to increase this ability of individuals in various ways, such as training, counseling, support groups, and etc.