Predictors of Caregiver Strain for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jessica Bradshaw, Scott Gillespie, Courtney McCracken, Bryan H. King, James T. McCracken, Cynthia R. Johnson, Luc Lecavalier, Tristram Smith, Naomi Swiezy, Karen Bearss, Linmarie Sikich, Craig Donnelly, Eric Hollander, Christopher J. McDougle, Lawrence Scahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face higher levels of caregiver strain compared to parents of children with other disabilities. This study examined child clinical features that predict high levels of caregiver strain for 374 parents of children with ASD. Caregiver strain was measured using the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) objective, subjective internalized, and subjective externalized subscales. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated an acceptable fit for the original CGSQ three-factor solution. The strongest child predictors across CGSQ subscales were: disruptive behavior for objective strain, autism severity and disruptive behavior for subjective internalized strain, and oppositional behavior and hyperactivity for subjective externalized strain. Individualized interventions that attend to specific elements of parental strain may reduce strain and improve family wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3039-3049
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Caregiver strain
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Stress
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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