Predictors of maternal stress in pre-school and school aged children with autism

Published September 2017
Abstract
Background: Mothers of children with autism experience high levels of stress. However, little is known about whether maternal stressors differ across children of different ages. Method: This study investigated stressors in mothers of 29 pre-school-aged and 27 school-aged children with autism. Correlation and regression analyses were used to determine if maternal stressors differed between the two age groups. Results: Findings revealed no difference in maternal stress levels across the two age groups; however, stressors for each age group were different. Stressors in the school-aged group were related to repetitive behaviours, sensory sensitivities, and problematic behaviours, while stressors in the pre-school-aged group were mainly related to adaptive behaviours. Conclusions: These findings are informative for practitioners and highlight the need for tailored supports and therapies for mothers of children with autism of different ages.
Citation
Zheng, L., Grove, R., & Eapen, V. (2017). Predictors of maternal stress in pre-school and school aged children with autism. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, early online. doi: 10.3109/13668250.2017.1374931

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