Autistic children's age difference in affiliate stigma and resilience of their parents in China: A cross-sectional study

Published:February 06, 2022DOI:


      • Parents of school-age children experienced more affiliate stigma than parents of preschoolers.
      • While they experienced greater stigma, parents of school age children reported higher resilience than parents of preschoolers
      • Resilience was a protective factor in predicting affiliate stigma only for parents of preschool aged children.



      Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience high levels of stigma, especially in China where the culture is shame socialized. Resilience can help overcome stigma; while parent characteristics predict resilience, other factors may also be significant such as the child's age.


      The study sought to identify the differences in affiliate stigma and resilience among Chinese parents of children with ASD according to the child's age, and to determine whether the levels of resilience and experience of stigma are related.


      A cross-sectional survey of 184 parents of children with ASD was conducted. Affiliate stigma and resilience were measured using the Chinese version of the 22-item Affiliate Stigma Scale and the Chinese version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Differences were examined by using regression and correlation analysis.


      Parents of school-age children experienced more affiliate stigma than parents of preschoolers, but there was no difference in resilience when other factors were controlled.


      Considering the child's age is important to understand affiliate stigma and resilience, particularly where resilience is protective and could inform the design of support strategies for preschooler parents.


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