Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jason D. Hans


This study examines the impact of raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder on relationship quality using the double ABCX model of adjustment and adaptation. Respondents (N = 126) recruited through Autism Society listervs completed online surveys designed to measure three factors of relationship quality: satisfaction, positive perceptions, and negative perceptions. Results from hierarchical multiple regression models indicate that the double ABCX model accounted for 47% of variance in satisfaction, 72% in positive perceptions, and 50% in negative perceptions, for predicting the quality of couple relationships. Implications for clinicians working with couples are discussed, such as the need for treatment that focuses on stress management and increasing support through affectionate, emotional, tangible, and social interactions.