MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY SURVEY AMONG PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM CONDITION: A PRELIMINARY STUDY
Received 2023-07-07; Accepted 2023-08-29; Published 2023-09-15
Keywords:Mental Health Literacy, Autism Spectrum Condition, Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Condition, Malaysia
Recently, mental health literacy (MHL) research has been growing widely in the literature. However, research on
MHL in Malaysia is limited, and caregivers’ MHL is often overlooked. As such, this study was conducted to examine
the MHL of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). This preliminary cross-sectional study
recruited parents of children with ASC from a few selected therapy centers in Klang Valley to examine their mental
health literacy. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the level of mental health literacy. Most respondents
were mothers of children with ASC, from the Malay and Muslim groups, and had a formal education up to the
tertiary level. MHL’s mean (SD) scores among 61 parents of children with ASC were 119.28 (9.52) out of 160. In
conclusion, the study showed that participants were mostly aware of mental illness. However, most participants
had stigmatizing beliefs about social interaction and marriage with people with mental illness. Additional research
should be conducted to understand further MHL and other variables among parents of children with ASC.
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