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Gender and coping: the parents of children with high functioning autism


  • Gray, David E.


Gender is a concept that is frequently discussed in the literature on stress, coping and illness. Research has reported that women are more vulnerable than men are to stressful events and use different strategies to cope with them. Furthermore, it is often asserted that these gender-based differences in coping may partially explain the differential impact of stressful events on men and women. Unfortunately, much of this research has equated gender with sex and failed to contextualise the experience of illness and coping. This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the role of gender and coping among parents of children with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome in an Australian sample. It attempts to analyse the different meanings of the disability for mothers and fathers and describes the various strategies that parents use to cope with their child's disability.

Suggested Citation

  • Gray, David E., 2003. "Gender and coping: the parents of children with high functioning autism," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 631-642, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:631-642

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tsai, Wen-Che & Tsai, Jia-Ling & Lotus Shyu, Yea-Ing, 2008. "Integrating the nurturer-trainer roles: Parental and behavior/symptom management processes for mothers of children with autism," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 1798-1806, December.
    2. Allen, Kerry, 2011. "Managing Prader-Willi syndrome in families: An embodied exploration," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 460-468, February.
    3. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9480-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Peter Burton & Kelly Chen & Lynn Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2017. "Child health and parental paid work," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 597-620, June.
    5. Burton, Peter & Lethbridge, Lynn & Phipps, Shelley, 2008. "Children with disabilities and chronic conditions and longer-term parental health," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1168-1186, June.
    6. Peter Burton & Lynn N. Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2008. "Mothering Children with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions: Long-Term Implications for Self-Reported Health," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 359-378, September.


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