Marital Experiences and Parental “Highs” and “Lows” When A Child with Autism Starts School

Kellie St Cyr Brisini, Xi Tian, Denise Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes parents’ daily “highs” and “lows” during their child’s transition to school for the first time and examines how those experiences relate to turbulence in the parents’ relationship. 106 parents (53 couples) rated their relationship qualities at pre-test and post-test and described “high” and “low” points of their day every three days for 42 days. Content analysis revealed experiences contributing to “high” or “low” points that were primarily related to: the child with ASD, the spouse, other children, personal situations, and other. Latent profile analysis identified three profiles that represented the relationship experiences of couples in the study: resilient couples, couples getting by, and asymmetrically engaged couples. Results highlight the variety of daily experiences these parents encounter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3932-3942
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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