Date of Conferral
Raising a child with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), particularly that of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), is challenging, as it comes with parental stressors for both mothers and fathers. Research on these stressors has been limited to only the stressors that mothers of children with a PDD experience and has failed to thoroughly examine the experiences and stressors of fathers of children with a PDD, particularly that of FXS. Using Hill's ABC-X family stress theory, this quantitative research study investigated the effects of marital satisfaction due to the amount of shared childcare responsibilities and parental stress among the mothers and fathers of children diagnosed with FXS. This study also examined whether significant differences exist among these parents, who were recruited through the use of flyers, notices, and handouts that were randomly passed out to parents at the FXS Alliance of Texas located in the southwest region of Texas. Participants for this study were 128 parents of children with FXS, each of whom completed a demographic questionnaire, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale, and The Sharing of Childcare Responsibilities Scale and Parental Stress Level Scale. An independent samples t test and multiple linear regression statistical analysis was employed. The results of the study indicated that parental stress associated with the amount of shared childcare responsibilities accounted for a significant degree of the variance in marital satisfaction. Yet the study did not find a significant mean difference in the level of parental stress that was experienced uniquely across gender. Potential social changes may include future development and improvements in treatment, therapeutic approaches, and predicted outcomes in efforts to enhance parental stress interventions so as to improve stress-related outcomes for parents of children with FXS.