Title: Transactional Relations between Parenting Stress and Child Autism Symptoms and Behavior Problems
Legend: We examined bidirectional effects between parenting stress and child functioning (ASD symptoms, internalizing behavior problems, and externalizing behavior problems) across four time points in 188 families of children with ASD (originally aged 5-12 yrs). The figure shows pathways for child ASD symptoms. Bold values displayed on top are for mothers and non-bold values on bottom are fathers. Significant effects are marked in solid lines if an effect was present for mothers, fathers, or both. *p < .05, **p < .01, *** p < .001.
Citation: Rodriguez, G., Hartley, S.L., & Bolt, D. (in press). Transactional relations between parenting stress and child autism symptoms and behavior problems. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Abstract: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report elevated parenting stress. The current study examined bidirectional effects between parenting stress and three domains of child functioning (ASD symptoms, internalizing behavior problems, and externalizing behavior problems) across four time points in 188 families of children with ASD (originally aged 5 to 12 yrs). The association between mother and father reports of parenting stress and child functioning were examined using three multi-group cross-lag panel analyses conducted in structural equation modeling. Results indicated parent-driven effects for child internalizing behavior problems, while child externalizing behavior problems and ASD symptoms evidenced both parent-driven and child-driven effects, in different ways for mothers versus fathers. Overall, findings have important implications for interventions for families of children with ASD.
About the Lab: Sigan Hartley, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department. Her research examines the individual resources and family contexts underlying positive well-being in individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.