Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Gragg, M.


Autism, Coparenting, Father, Involvement, Stress, Support




The present study investigated how fathers of children with autism spectrum disorders (autism) are supported by their coparents, and the impact of this on fathers’ involvement, motivation for involvement, and parenting stress. Fathers (N = 76) of children with autism aged 4-11 years completed an online survey, and 20 fathers completed an additional phone interview. Multiple regression analyses revealed that fathers’ perceptions of coparenting support was not related to fathers’ outcomes, such as involvement, satisfaction with involvement, parenting stress. Additional analyses revealed that fathers’ perceptions of coparenting support was negatively related to their parenting stress. In turn, lower parenting stress was related to greater involvement with their children and greater satisfaction with involvement for fathers. Qualitative results suggested that fathers experience both positive and negative support from their coparents as well as from others, and that fathers are influenced both positively and negatively as a result of being involved with their children with autism. The present study has implications for fostering coparenting relationships, supporting fathers’ involvement with their children, and facilitating fathers’ involvement in treatment programs and research.