Mothers’ evaluations of fathers’ contributions to raising children with autism spectrum disorder in the United Arab Emirates

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Ahmed Mohamed, Mohammed Safi, Shashidhar Belbase, Fadwa Al Mughairbi, Quizhi Xie, Mahmoud Al Shatheli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurological condition which results in social skill deficits, communication difficulties, and restrictive and repetitive behaviour. The difficulties associated with parenting children with ASD have been studied extensively, mainly from the perspectives of mothers. The extent of involvement of fathers in the raising of children with ASD has received limited scholarly attention, especially in non-Western contexts such as the United Arab Emirates. Objectives: This study asked mothers to evaluate the involvement of fathers in the development of children with ASD. Methods: In all, 240 mothers completed the Fathers’ Involvement in Development and Rehabilitation Scale, designed based on a review of literature on the construct of involvement, namely attitude, participation in training, and support domains. The data were subjected to computation of mean scores, multivariate analysis of variance, hierarchical regression, and moderation analyses. Results: The results suggested that fathers held positive attitudes and provided substantial support to their children with ASD. However, mothers were ambivalent regarding the participation of fathers in training to support the development of their children. Differences were also observed between participants according to marital status, location, child gender, and ASD severity. Conclusion: Recommendations for targeted training for fathers and other study implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number253
JournalBMC psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Fathers
  • Involvement
  • Mother
  • Parenting
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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