Time demands of caring for children with autism: What are the implications for maternal mental health

Michael Sawyer, M Bittman, A La Greca, Angela Crettenden, Taylor Harchak, Jon Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study examined the relationship between maternal mental health problems and both caregiving time and experience of time pressure for 216 mothers of children with autism. Data describing caregiving time was obtained using 24-h time-diaries. Standard questionnaires were used to assess time pressure, social support, children's emotional and behavioural problems, and maternal mental health problems. After adjusting for the effect of children's age, maternal social support, and children's behaviour problems, time pressure but not hours of caregiving, had a significant positive relationship with maternal mental health problems. Findings suggest that the quality of homebased care for children with autism may be adversely affected if time pressure experienced by caregivers compromises their mental health and well being.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)620-628
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Volume40
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    Keywords

    • Autism
    • Caregiving time
    • Mental health problems
    • Mothers
    • Time use

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