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Robert Hock, PhD, LMSW

Making Change Happen

Strained relationships might not be listed as a symptom of autism, but they are extremely common among parents of children with the disorder. Dr. Rob Hock hears a familiar refrain in the conversations he has with the parents of children with autism: Pursuing the best treatment takes a hefty toll on families. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Hock believes that when a family takes care of all its members, parents included, it’s best equipped to raise a child with autism. 

Treatment for autism ultimately begins and ends at home. Dr. Hock’s goal is to help families cultivate the most beneficial environment for their children and themselves. His research aims to find the relationship between the family’s behavior and the child’s behavior, and he hopes to use the results to make treatments more effective. 

After seeing the sacrificial lengths many parents go to, Dr. Hock fears that some parents’ hard work may be undone by the resulting instability at home.  He has found, however, that families are resilient. He says that, despite the many challenges they face, most families find joy and meaning in parenting all of their children.

Research Background

Dr. Hock's research interests are informed by his clinical work with children and families in mental health settings. Specifically, Dr. Hock uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the relationship between family adjustment (coparenting quality, parent stress, depression) and child outcomes (adaptive behaviors, mental health, treatment responsiveness). In addition, Dr. Hock is adapting evidence-based parent interventions to be used with parents of children with autism.

Research Projects (recent)

  • CO-PI for Recovery Program Transformation & Innovation Fund research & program evaluation--$1,564,078, SC Department of Health & Human Services, University of South Carolina, College of Social Work, 2014-2016
  • Iachini, A. & Hock, R. (2012). Systems of care planning grant. South Carolina Department of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services.
  • Hock, R. & Weberling, B. (2012). Exploring New Parents’ Awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Barriers to Help-Seeking.
  • Hock, R., Kinsman, A., Kellett, J. (2011). Examining Treatment Adherence among the Parents of Children with Autism.
  • Hock, R. (2011). A Pilot Investigation of Playing Fifth Base: An Intervention for Parents of Children with Autism.

Selected Presentations

  • Hock, R. & Moore, R.  (2012, March).  Family Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Workshop presented to the NASW SC Chapter Symposium, Columbia, SC.
  • Hock, R., Kinsman, A., Kellet, J.,& Cross, T. (2012, May). Examining Treatment Adherence Among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Toronto, Canada.
  • Hock, R. & Mooradian, J.M. (2011). Coparenting quality among adoptive mothers: Contributions of socioeconomic status, child demands, and adult relationship characteristics. Poster presented at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, Tampa, Fl.
  • Hock, R. & Duffy, P. (2011) Revisioning Role Plays: Incorporating Theatre of the Oppressed Techniques in the Classroom. Workshop presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
  • Hock, R. & Timm, T.M.  (2007, October).  Family Therapy Interventions with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Workshop presented at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Long Beach, CA.

Selected Publications

  • Hock, R. & Ahmedani, B. (in press). Parent perceptions of autism severity: Exploring the social ecological context. Disability and Health Journal.
  • Ramisch, J., Timm, T., Hock, R., & Topor, J. (in press). Experiences delivering a marital intervention  for couples with children with autism spectrum disorders. The American Journal of Family Therapy.
  • Ahmedani, B. & Hock, R. (2012). Health care access and treatment for children with co-morbid  autism and other psychiatric conditions. Social Psychiatry And Psychiatric Epidemiology Published Online First, DOI: 10.1007/s00127-012-0482-0
  • Hock, R. Timm, T. & Ramisch, J. (2011). Parenting children with autism: A crucible for couple relationships.  Child and Family Social Work. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2011.00794.x.
  • Hock, R. & Mooradian, J. (2011). Coparenting quality among adoptive mothers: Contributions of  socioeconomic status, child demands, and adult relationship characteristics. Child and Family Social Work. 17(1): 85-95.

Hock R2

Contact Information

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 803.777.5861

Major Classes Taught

  • SOWK 718 Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice
  • SOWK 725 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families
  • SOWK 792 Evaluation of Social Work Practice

Community Partners


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