Is There a Bidirectional Relationship Between Maternal Well-Being and Child Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders? Longitudinal Analysis of a Population-Defined Sample of Young Children

Vasiliki Totsika, Richard P. Hastings, Eric Emerson, Gillian A. Lancaster, Damon M. Berridge, Dimitrios Vagenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between maternal psychological well-being and behavior problems in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is bidirectional. Data were available at 9 months, 3 years, and 5 years old for 132 children with ASD, identified from a population-representative sample of UK children. Three-wave cross-lagged models examined reciprocal effects between child behavior and maternal well-being (psychological distress, physical health functioning, and life satisfaction). Results indicated that the relationships between maternal well-being and child problem behaviors were not bidirectional. Specifically, findings suggested that while early behavior problems are not a risk factor for later maternal well-being, maternal psychological distress, physical health limitations, and lower life satisfaction are risk factors for later child behavior problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalAutism Research
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Behavior problems
  • Bidirectional
  • Longitudinal
  • Maternal well-being
  • Population-representative

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