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Parenting Early Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before and After Transition to Secondary School

Authors
  • van Esch, Lotte1, 2
  • O’Nions, Liz1, 2
  • Hannes, Karin3
  • Ceulemans, Eva4
  • Van Leeuwen, Karla1
  • Noens, Ilse1, 2
  • 1 KU Leuven, Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 32, Leuven, 3000, Belgium , Leuven (Belgium)
  • 2 Leuven Autism Research (LAuRes), Leuven, Belgium , Leuven (Belgium)
  • 3 KU Leuven, Centre for Sociological Research, Parkstraat 45, box 3601, Leuven, 3000, Belgium , Leuven (Belgium)
  • 4 KU Leuven, Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences, Tiensestraat 102, box 3713, Leuven, 3000, Belgium , Leuven (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Mar 14, 2018
Volume
2
Issue
2
Pages
179–189
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s41252-018-0058-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Although early adolescence is a challenging period for all parents, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face additional challenges. At present, little is known about their concrete parenting behaviors during this stage of their child’s development. The main goal of this study was to explore what behaviors parents adopt and investigate how these relate to parenting dimensions previously described in the literature. In addition, we aimed to explore the feelings and cognitions of parents regarding their parenting behavior. Parents of 17 early adolescents aged 11 to 15 years with ASD were interviewed. Starting from three general parenting dimensions (warmth, parental control, and autonomy support) and two parenting dimensions of particular relevance in ASD (stimulating the development and adapting the environment), our analyses produced an integrated framework with three core dimensions: warmth, behavioral control, and stimulation. Our findings suggest that parents make strategic decisions in parenting their children with ASD: they report adapting their behaviors at many levels, although these behaviors per se are not ASD specific.

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