Associations among family burden, optimism, services received and unmet need within families of children with ASD

Kristina Lopez, Jessica Reed, Sandy Magaña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Research has identified variation in the number of services received and unmet service needs among parents of children with ASD. We sought to explore the relationship among family burden, optimism, and services received and needed among Latinx and non-Latinx White parents raising children with ASD. Forty-four Latinx caregivers and 56 non-Latino White caregivers were administered a questionnaire on their experiences with their child's diagnosis and service use. Children were between 3 and 21 years of age (μ = 9.6; SD = 4.5) at the time of the study. Step-wise hierarchical regression analyses assessed the impact of socio-demographic factors, family burden, and maternal optimism on children's services received and unmet service needs. We did not find that family burden or optimism were related to the number of services received. However, greater family burden, and maternal optimism were positively associated with the number of unmet service needs. Understanding the influence of these factors on services received and unmet service needs has implications for the development of interventions addressing services for children with ASD and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019



  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Family burden
  • Optimism
  • Services
  • Unmet need

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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