Abstract

Mothers’ emotional distress,when having a child with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), isdifferent depending on depending on the thinking pattern (rational orirrational) and cognitive coping strategies used. The aim of this study was to assess irrational beliefs, negativeautomatic thoughts, emotional distress, cognitive coping strategies and therelation between them, in mothers of children with ASD. Datawere collected from 65 mothers having a child with diagnosis of ASD. Several psychologicalinstruments were used to assess the irrational beliefs (ABSs), automatic negativethoughts (ATQ), emotional distress (PAD) and cognitive coping strategies(CERQ). Mothers reported high levels of emotional distress, automatic negative thoughtsand irrational beliefs. The cognitive coping strategies that correlated positivelyand statistically significant with emotional distress were self-blame,catastrophizing and rumination. Self-blame and catastrophizing strategies correlatedpositively and statistically significant with the irrational beliefs. Theresults also suggest that the use of maladaptive coping strategies correlateswith a higher levels of irrational beliefs and emotional distress.

Keywords

Emotional Distress, Irrational Beliefs, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Coping, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).