Rearing autistic children is seen as difficult to do and may bring a heavy burden for the parents and family. Parents not only find difficult dyadic interaction with the child, but also in their role in a wider areas of life. This may cause the parents to have high level of stress. They need support in order to increase their resources. One of these is through group-based parenting support.
Desvi Yanti Mukhtar conducted research for her doctoral programme dissertation titled Influence of Group-based Parenting Support to Stress in Parents Rearing Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The Psychology lecturer from Universitas Sumatera Utara has successfully earned her doctorate at Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Monday (29/1).
Group-based parenting support method is a provision of intervention to parents using a group setting. Intervention through a group is seen as more efficient in terms of time and energy. It also has therapeutic factor as it allows opportunity to open oneself as well as learn and build cohesion with other people.
Desvi made the research on 38 parents that raise autistic children in Yogyakarta, divided into two treatment groups, parents support group, and psychoeducation group. The manipulation check results done by Desvi proved that subject of the research in parents support and psychoeducation group have increased knowledge on rearing autistic children after doing the group-based parenting support.
“This showed that group-based parenting support that is done through ecology approach may help increase the knowledge of the parents,” she said.
Furthermore, Desvi explained the results of the research that there were differences between both group-based parenting supports toward stress of rearing. She said parents support group were able to reduce stress of rearing up to effect size of 23.2% while none for the psychoeducation group.
“Based on this research, we can conclude that application of group-based parenting support through ecology approach may help parents in rearing autistic children,” she said.