BACKGROUND : The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between family routines,
cognitive appraisal of the impact of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) on the family and family
quality of life (FQOL) in families raising children with ASD in South Africa.
METHODS : A sample of 180 families of young children with ASD who were receiving disabilityrelated
services in the Gauteng province of South Africa completed a self-administered survey.
Structural equation modelling was used to examine the direct relationship between the regularity of
family routines and FQOL, and the mediating effect of cognitive appraisal on this relationship.
RESULTS : The results suggested a direct, positive relationship between the regularity of family routines
and families‟ satisfaction with their FQOL. Furthermore, cognitive appraisal of the impact of ASD
on the family mediated this relationship in a partial manner.
CONCLUSION : A higher frequency of regular family routines was strongly associated with a higher
satisfaction level of FQOL. Also, cognitive appraisal of the impact of ASD acted as a mechanism
through which the regularity of family routines influenced FQOL. We discuss the research and
clinical implications of these findings.
Van Tonder, Barend Jacobus(University of Pretoria, 2007-12-19)
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