Affiliate stigma and depression in caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in China: Effects of self-esteem, shame and family functioning.

Affiliate stigma and depression in caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in China: Effects of self-esteem, shame and family functioning.

Psychiatry Res. 2018 Apr 03;264:260-265

Authors: Zhou T, Wang Y, Yi C

Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate affiliate stigma and depression in caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in China and to examine the predictive effects of self-esteem, shame proneness and family functioning. Two hundred and sixty-three primary caregivers of children with autism in Mainland China participated in the survey. The results suggested that affiliate stigma in caregivers of children with autism was prevalent and severe; their depressive symptoms were significantly more severe than the national norm of the similar age group. Low self-esteem, high shame proneness and poor family adaptability were associated with experience of affiliate stigma and heightened depressive symptoms. Affiliate stigma partially mediated the links between self-esteem/ shame proneness/family adaptability and depression levels. This study was the first one to measure affiliate stigma on caregivers of children with ASD in mainland China using a quantitative method. The results highlight the necessity and importance of de-stigmatization for the caregivers of children with autism and suggest that interventions to improve self-esteem, reduce experience of shame and to enhance family functioning might be effective.

PMID: 29655969 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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