Proband mental health difficulties and parental stress predict mental health in toddlers at high-risk of autism spectrum disorders

Published July 2016
Abstract
Family-related predictors of mental health problems were investigated among 30 toddlers at familial high-risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 28 controls followed from age 2- to 3-years. Parents completed the self-report Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the parent-report Behavior Assessment System for Children. High-risk toddlers were assessed for ASD at 3-years. Parent stress and proband mental health difficulties predicted concurrent toddler mental health difficulties at 2-years, but only baseline proband internalising problems continued to predict toddler internalising problems at 3-years; high-risk status did not confer additional risk. Baseline toddler mental health difficulties robustly predicted later difficulties, while high-risk status and diagnostic outcome conferred no additional risk. A family systems perspective may be useful for understanding toddler mental health difficulties.
Citation
Crea, K., Dissanayake, C., & Hudry, K. (2016). Proband mental health difficulties and parental stress predict mental health in toddlers at high-risk of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(10), 3242-3257. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2861-y.

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