Impact of respite care services availability on stress, anxiety and depression in military parents who have a child on the autism spectrum

This pilot study looked at respite’s impact on parental stress, anxiety, and depression in military families and demographic factors associated with presence of respite care. Participants completed three surveys on anonymous basis, including two standardized surveys measuring parental stress and anxiety/depression. Data analysis used Chi-square test and regression analysis. Parents receiving respite reported less stress and anxiety/depression. Respite utilization was associated with absence of comorbid conditions in child and other variables. Predictor variables for parental stress and anxiety/depression included presence of comorbid conditions in child. The study concluded that respite care may be linked to lower parental stress, anxiety, and depression, but more study is needed.

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