EMOTIONAL STATES AND QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) DURING COVID-19 IN MALAYSIA
Received 2023-07-11; Accepted 2023-08-17; Published 2023-09-15
The global pandemic in Malaysia in 2020 has had a worldwide impact and affected the entire world’s population.
Caring for special needs, children became more difficult than usual during this period. Caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) particularly could severely influence the parents’ emotional well-being and quality of life. This study aimed to identify the emotional states and quality of life among parents of children with ASD during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study obtained quantitative data from the (n = 100) parents of children with ASD from different states in Malaysia using an online survey. The data collected from this study included; demographic characteristics of the parents and children, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21), and also the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-Bref: WHOQOL-BREF (Malay version). The results found significant differences between demographic characteristics, emotional status, and QoL among parents with autistic children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. A statistically significant association existed between the parents’ depression symptoms and their mental health status (p = 0.03*). There is also a correlation between the emotional states with the quality of life among the parents of children with ASD, but most of the domains were very weak correlations. Overall, the study found that the COVID-19 pandemic had slightly impacted the emotional states and quality of life among parents in Malaysia.
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