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Parenting stress and autism: the role of age, autism severity, quality of life and problem behaviour of children and adolescents with autism.

Authors
  • McStay, Rebecca L
  • Dissanayake, Cheryl
  • Scheeren, Anke
  • Koot, Hans M
  • Begeer, Sander
Type
Published Article
Journal
Autism : the international journal of research and practice
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2014
Volume
18
Issue
5
Pages
502–510
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1362361313485163
PMID: 24104515
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

While stress is a common experience for parents caring for a child with a developmental disability, current measures fail to distinguish between general stress in parents and the demands of parenting and perceptions of parenting skills (parenting stress). This study examined differences in 'parenting stress' reported by parents of children with autism and typically developing children. This study examined the role of child characteristics (age, autism severity, child quality of life and problem behaviour) on parenting stress in 150 parents of cognitively able children and adolescents with autism. The results revealed that child hyperactivity was the only factor significantly related to parenting stress in parents of children with autism, overruling measures of autism severity and child quality of life. This finding indicates the significant influence of problematic behaviours on parenting demands and perceptions of parenting skills in parents of children with autism, over other child characteristics conceived as within the parent's control. Study implications for future research are discussed.

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