A Comparison of Marital Satisfaction of Mothers Raising a Child with Intellectual Disability versus a Child with Autism Disorder in Bahrain: Mixed Method Study

Mariam E. Al-Shirawi


The purpose of the current mixed method study was to explore marital satisfaction of mothers raising children with Intellectual disability (I.D), or Autism disorder Children (A.D).The participants were thirty seven mothers, 21 of them had a child with autism disorder and 16 had a child with Intellectual disability. Twenty two of the mothers participated in the semi-structured interviews using the marital satisfaction questionnaire (MSQ) which is a self-report questionnaire prepared to assess marital satisfaction. The results reported 70% of the mothers had high level marital satisfaction. Results showed no significant difference in the level of marital satisfaction between mothers of children with (I.D) and mothers of children with (A.D).  The regression analyses indicated that social support, significantly predicted mothers' marital satisfaction, while other variables (income, child birth order, gender of a child, age of a child, age of mother, age of husband, social support, marital years) were not found to be influential in predicting marital satisfaction. Qualita­tive thematic analysis showed that most of the mothers have a high level of marital satisfaction and received support from their husbands, their families and their mothers’ in-law, as well as support from professional specialists like pediatricians, psychologists, special education teachers and some friends.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v8i2.13100


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