Spiritual wellness as a protective factor in predicting depression among mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders

Arjan Graybill, Fordham University

Abstract

Research suggests that an individual's spiritual wellness is related to their emotional functioning. This study examined the predictive power of spiritual wellness on depression in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. The study was comprised of 83 mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders, 60 of the children attending separate public school programs and 23 attending private schools. Mothers were completed the Spirituality Assessment Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory-II. ^ A hierarchical regression was conducted to determine the predictive power of the four independent variables on the dependent measure. The four components of spiritual wellness: meaning and purpose in life, inner resources, transcendence, and positive interconnectedness were identified as the independent variables. ^ The results of the hierarchical regression indicated the meaning and purpose in life was a significant predictor of lower maternal depression, accounting for 28% of the variance. Inner resources was also found to be a significant predictor of lower maternal depression, accounting for an additional 3.6% of the variance. However, positive interconnectedness and transcendence were not significant predictors of maternal depression and accounted for 1.5% and .1% of the variance. Transcendence was the final predictor entered into the regression. Overall, the inclusion of all four spiritual wellness scales significantly predicted lower maternal depression and accounted for 33% of the variance. ^ The findings of this study suggest that the inclusion of spiritual wellness into interventions for mothers of children with autism may help reduce depression. Future research is needed to investigate the direct effects and how best to include components of spiritual wellness components into counseling and interventions for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Graybill, Arjan, "Spiritual wellness as a protective factor in predicting depression among mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3361462.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3361462

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