Marital satisfaction of Chinese mothers of children with autism and intellectual disabilities in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1171
Journal / PublicationJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number12
Online published22 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


Background: Previous research showed an association among perceived stigma, perceived caregiving burden and marital satisfaction of mothers. However, little is known about their relationship among mothers of young children with disabilities in the Chinese context. The mediating role of perceived caregiving burden between perceived stigma and marital satisfaction was seldom explored. Hence, the present study aims to investigate the relationship between perceived stigma, perceived caregiving burden and marital satisfaction of Chinese mothers of children with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders in Hong Kong. Methods: A cross-sectional survey using convenience sampling was conducted with mothers of pre-school children with disabilities aged from 2 to 6. A total of 160 completed questionnaires were collected from five special child care centres in Hong Kong. Results: The findings in the hierarchical regression analyses showed that perceived stigma and perceived caregiving burden were significant predictors of mothers' marital satisfaction. Perceived burden, including perceived social burden, emotional burden and developmental burden but excluding time-dependence and physical burden, were found to be significant mediators between perceived stigma and marital satisfaction. Conclusion: To address the negative consequences brought on by stigma, measures can be taken to prevent stigmatisation and minimise the harmful effects. To alleviate mothers' perceived burden, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mutual support groups and psycho-educational and skills training programmes can be conducted for the mothers.

Research Area(s)

  • Autism, Intellectual disability, Mental health, Parents