To read this content please select one of the options below:

The mediating role of parental playfulness on parent–child relationship and competence among parents of children with ASD

Rini Grace Roy (Rini Grace Roy and Aneesh Kumar are both based at the Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalore, India)
Aneesh Kumar (Rini Grace Roy and Aneesh Kumar are both based at the Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalore, India)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 25 October 2021

Issue publication date: 13 October 2022

451

Abstract

Purpose

The difficulties of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can lead to behaviours that are quite challenging for parents to understand and address. Most of the parental studies of ASD focus on the challenges faced by the parents. This study aims to adopt a strength-based model that investigates the mediating role of parental playfulness in the association between parent–child relationship and parental competence.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a quantitative study that adopts a correlational research design. The mediation analysis explores the role of parental playfulness as a mediator in the association between parent–child relationship and parental competence. The sample consisted of 120 parents of children diagnosed with ASD from India, selected using a purposive sampling technique.

Findings

The mediation analysis results indicate that playfulness among parents of children with ASD was found to function as a partial mediator in the relationship between parent–child relationship and parental competence. This could suggest that more playful parents have better parent–child relationships and are competent in parenting.

Research limitations/implications

These findings have importance in understanding the role of playful interaction on parent–child relationships and parenting competence, having implications for further research. Enabling playfulness in parenting will enhance children and parents to promote their relationship and thus feel competent to bring positive light in their lives.

Practical implications

Most often, the clinicians are concerned with addressing only the autistic symptoms; it is also essential to look into parental well-being. Practical playful interaction training should help parents establish a rapport, understand, adjust and adapt with their child.

Social implications

Practical intervention and training plans can be suggested to all family members to improve the condition of the child and the family’s general well-being. As the study focused on the clinical population, the findings could provide useful inputs for mental health professionals and counsellors.

Originality/value

There are some theoretical and empirical evidence that support positive outcomes of playfulness on personal well-being (Atzaba Poria, in press; Yue et al., 2016; Proyer, 2014). Although there has been some interest in the impact of children’s playfulness on their development (Bundy, 1997), little is known about the influence of parental playfulness on parents and children. Therefore, addressing these gaps, this empirical study focusses on investigating the role of parental playfulness in parent–child relationship and parental competence, rather than considering external challenges of parents based on the ASD child’s behavioural challenges and autistic features.

Keywords

Citation

Roy, R.G. and Kumar, A. (2022), "The mediating role of parental playfulness on parent–child relationship and competence among parents of children with ASD", Advances in Autism, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 306-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-02-2021-0010

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles