Graduation Date

Summer 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Tasha R. Howe

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Hyun-Kyung. You

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Genevive Macias

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Fourth Committee Member Name

Dr. Christopher Walmsley

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The current study explored the relationship between parental perceptions of stress, self-efficacy, attachment, and child functioning level. Participants were parents of children with ASD enrolled in The Special Beginnings Program (SBP, N = 44) or receiving treatment as usual (TAU, N = 39). Hypotheses included that parental perceptions of child functioning level will be negatively correlated with stress and positively correlated with self-efficacy and attachment. In addition, that parental perceptions of stress will decrease and perceptions of attachment and self-efficacy would increase after Project ImPACT training and at follow-up more so for the parents in the SBP group compared to the TAU group. Results revealed child functioning level, attachment, and, self-efficacy are correlated and that child functioning level and parenting stress are negatively correlated. For all participants, regardless of group (SBP or TAU), perceptions of attachment and self-efficacy experienced a rebound to previous levels after first experiencing a decline from baseline. These results indicate that perceptions of child functioning level, attachment, and, self-efficacy are related. In addition, regardless of treatment group, participants experienced a reduction in their perceptions of stress. This is evidence that early intervention programs can be successful at addressing parents stress levels. Future research including a mediation model to explore if attachment or self-efficacy mediates stress is needed to better understand the direction of these variables. This would provide valuable information to early intervention programs as to which intervention services are most needed for parents and children to further child improvement.

Citation Style