This study explored the nature of two construals of meaning, benefit finding and sense making, in parents of a child with Asperger syndrome, and examined relations between both meaning constructs and the Double ABCX family stress model variables (initial stressor and pile-up of demands, appraisal, social support, coping strategies and adjustment) [H.I. McCubbin, J.M. Patterson, Social Stress and the Family: Advances and Developments in Family Stress Theory and Research, Haworth, New York, 1983, pp. 7-37]. A total of 59 parents completed questionnaires. Content analyses of parents' responses to questions inquiring about gains and sense making explanations revealed 8 benefit and 12 sense making themes. Results of correlations indicated that one or more of the meaning variables were related to each of the Double ABCX model predictors of parental adjustment. The meaning variables were positively related to adaptive coping processes: social support, self-efficacy, and problem-focused and emotional approach coping strategies. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.