Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Elizabeth Gosch PhD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Jessica Kendorski PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D


The present study investigated factors that predict maternal caregivers’ quality of life in 115 mothers (25 - 55 years old) who had a child aged 5 to 12 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Caregivers’ perceived stress and family cohesion were assessed to determine each factor’s predictive ability in predicting four domains of quality of life: physical health, psychological health, relationships, and environment. Results indicate that perceived stress significantly predicted all four quality-of-life domains. When adding in family cohesion, modest increases in predictive strength were observed for two domains of caregiver quality of life (i.e., psychological health and relationships). These results demonstrate that family variables have some modest impact on certain domains of quality of life and support further investigation and understanding of these and other related family variables.