Resolution of the child's ASD diagnosis among Arab-Israeli mothers: Associations with maternal sensitivity and wellbeing

Smadar Dolev, Efrat Sher-Censor, Nagham Baransi, Kholoud Amara, Marwa Said

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focused on Arab-Israeli mothers of children with ASD, and examined maternal resolution of the child's diagnosis, and its associations with mothers' sensitivity to the child, maternal psychological distress, parenting stress, social support, and family demographics. Forty-six mothers and their 2-8 year old sons participated in the study. Mothers were interviewed regarding their resolution of their child's diagnosis, their child's ASD symptoms and adaptive behaviors, and completed questionnaires to assess their psychological distress, parenting stress and social support. Maternal sensitivity was observed during two mother-child play contexts, didactic and social play. Resolved mothers were more sensitive to their child during social play, and reported less psychological distress and parenting stress, as well as fewer child ASD symptoms compared with unresolved mothers. Implications for cultural sensitive parental guidance for families of children with ASD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Faculty of Social Science, University of Haifa . This article is based in part on master’s theses by Nagham Baransi and Kholud Amara. We express our sincere gratitude to families who participated in this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Arab-Israeli
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Maternal sensitivity
  • Parental distress
  • Parenting stress
  • Resolution of diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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