Raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder is a challenging
experience that can impact maternal well-being. Using a daily diary
methodology, this study investigates (1) the relationship between
stress and negative affect, and (2) the role of daily positive affect
as a protective factor in the stress and negative affect relationship.
Results from hierarchical linear models revealed that higher levels
of stress were associated with decreased negative affect, both within
and across days. Daily positive affect buffered the immediate and
longer-lasting negative impact of stress on days of low to moderate
levels of stress. Implications of the present study are discussed
with regard to theoretical models of positive affect, the development
of intervention programs, and directions for future research.
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