Father engagement in Syrian Asylum-Seeker families with children on the autistic spectrum

Avcı Ö. H., ZENCİR T.

Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, vol.107, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.rasd.2023.102226
  • Journal Name: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Asylum-seeking, Autism spectrum disorders, Father engagement, Migration, Parenting
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Asylum-seeking has aspects that encourage and discourage father engagement. The additional care burden of a child on the autistic spectrum is combined with the psychological and economic effects of asylum-seeking for families. Aims: We aimed to contribute to understanding asylum-seeker fathers' experiences and to illuminate father engagement more comprehensively in the upbringing of children on the autistic spectrum. Methods and procedures: As part of the research, fourteen Syrian asylum-seeker parents with children on the autistic spectrum were interviewed individually. The researchers used a inductive thematic analysis method. Outcomes and results: We identified two themes. The first theme related to the barriers to fathers' engagement. Barriers included economic problems, double stigmatization, belonging problems, Covid-19-related barriers, and gender role norms. The second theme related to the factors that motivate father engagement. These factors were the number of children, the mother's mental health problems, lack of social support, and belief in God (Allah). Conclusions and implications: The study provided important clues about the contribution of civil society support to individuals who have been asylum-seekers. In addition, policies that encourage reducing stigmatization and supporting the integration process of asylum-seekers can be developed.