Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Social Science

Subject Categories

Public Health


College of Liberal Arts


Behavioral Sciences

Thesis Adviser

Myla M. Arcinas

Defense Panel Chair

Romeo B. Lee

Defense Panel Member

Jesusa M. Marco
Dennis S. Erasga


Couples with autistic child/children in the Philippines have been an increasing phenomenon. However, studies about them remain limited. In particular, the couples sexual behavior and contraceptive use in relation to their parenting experiences are scarcely investigated. As a response, this study aimed to examine the sexual behavior and reproductive health practices of selected couples with autistic child in Cagayan de Oro City. This study is qualitative in nature, which utilized in-depth interviews among 10 couples with autistic child to examine their parenting experiences, contraceptive use, health-seeking practices, and how these factors affect their reproductive behavior status. The findings show that couples with higher educational attainment and who are economically advantaged found it easier to manage, to adjust and to adapt with the child's condition. The child's institutionalization is also a key factor, which helped them accept and understand the behavior of their child. Although, the findings reveal that parenting an autistic child is difficult in many ways due to the challenges however, majority of the key informants admitted that they find it moderately difficult. This means that it is neither hard nor easy. As a result, their sexual and reproductive behaviors/practices were not negatively affected by the child's condition. On the other hand, contraceptive use is found to be helpful for these couples in achieving their desired space and number of children. This is beneficial to them because their autistic child needs special care and attention. Hence, they were able to provide the needs of their special child without compromising the needs of other family members. Moreover, couples mentioned that having another child after their autistic one is an advantage on their part as parents. It is due to the fact that they have someone to help them care for their autistic child especially when they are no longer capable of doing so. Thus, the current study reveals that, while couples find it challenging to have an autistic child, it is not a major hindering factor to their sexual behavior and desire to have an additional child. Even more, the presence of an autistic child could lead to a harmonious relationship in the family.

Abstract Format






Accession Number

CDTG004334; TG04334

Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

155 leaves; 28 cm.


Parents of autistic children; Reproductive health; Marital conflict

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