Dr Nurul Hartini: Childcare with Autism Spectrum Disorders Potentially Increases Stress in Mother

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Children with autism spectrum disorders are generally characterized by an inability to communicate and interact with other individuals. Children with autism spectrum disorders are usually very indifferent to the environment outside themselves. It makes their behavior look like they live.

Children with autism spectrum disorders can reduce the mental health of parents and family. Parents with children who have these characteristics show a decrease in mental health. The stress of parenting causes one of them. Children with autism spectrum disorders are perceived by parents as an event that is threatening, challenging, or dangerous.

“Parents will negatively respond to those events and harm parents’ beliefs to deal with stressors. This risks to their mental health, “said Dr Nurul Hartini, S.Psi., M. Kes., Psychologist, lecturer in psychology at Universitas Airlangga.

Some research suggest that parenting stress with autism spectrum disorders is higher in mothers than fathers. Besides being due to gender differences, the quantity and quality of a mother’s relationship with an older child causes higher physical fatigue and anxiety. The characteristics and limitations of children with autism spectrum disorders also require parents, especially mother, to provide more time and energy.

Parents’ internal factors in parenting, namely parenting self-efficacy, or self-efficacy, play an essential role in reducing stress. Self-efficacy is defined as a belief in one’s ability to take action for future situations. Parents with high efficacy have more interest in mentoring, caring and caring. They are also better able to tolerate the challenges that arise and have a positive self-perception in dealing with stressors.

“Parenting self-efficacy is formed by various variables, including acceptance of parents towards children, positive reinforcement from children, attachment, social support especially from partners,” said Nurul.

“The ability of parents to accept children as they are without conditions will present positive emotions to accept the shortcomings and limitations of children,” she continued.

Parenting self-efficacy is an internal factor of the mother that encourages creativity and perseverance of the mother to carry out the process of care and education that is appropriate to ability. Although financially limited, mother with high parenting self-efficacy will try to provide care and education directly so that children can continue to process to improve their communication skills and social interactions.

“Mother with high parenting self-efficacy will try to find and find the right care and education strategies so that their children can build independence gradually,” said Nurul.

Children with proper handling are expected to be able to take formal education with their peers. By paying attention to the various special needs and the maximum efforts of the family to fulfil them, care can be made as part of the role of parents. That way, nurturing can be done without any thoughts or feelings burdened. (*)

Author: Sukma Cindra Pratiwi

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia



Andini Iskayanti & Nurul Hartini. 2019. Self-Efficacy Parenting and Nursing Stress: Study On Mother from Spectrum Autism Children. Terbit pada Psikohumaniora: Jurnal Penelitian Psikologi, Vol 4, No 1 (2019): 43—52

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