A population-based investigation of behavioural and emotional problems and maternal mental health: associations with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability.
ABSTRACT While research indicates elevated behavioural and emotional problems in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and decreased well-being in their parents, studies do not typically separate out the contribution of ASD from that of associated intellectual disabilities (ID). We investigated child behavioural and emotional problems, and maternal mental health, among cases with and without ASD and ID in a large population-representative sample.
Cross-sectional comparison of child behavioural and emotional problems and maternal mental health measures among 18,415 children (5 to 16 years old), of whom 47 had an ASD, 51 combined ASD with ID, 590 had only ID, and the remainder were the comparison group with no ASD or ID.
The prevalence of likely clinical levels of behavioural and emotional problems was highest among children with ASD (with and without ID). After controlling for age, gender, adversity, and maternal mental health, the presence of ASD and ID significantly and independently increased the odds for hyperactivity symptoms, conduct, and emotional problems. Emotional disorder was more prevalent in mothers of children with ASD (with or without ID). The presence of ASD, but not ID, significantly increased the odds for maternal emotional disorder. As has been found in previous research, positive maternal mental health was not affected by the presence of ASD or ID.
ASD and ID are independent risk factors for behavioural and emotional problems. ASD (but not ID) is positively associated with maternal emotional disorder. Approaches to diagnosing hyperactivity and conduct problems in children with ASD may need to be reconsidered.
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ABSTRACT: We employed a clinical sample of young children with ASD, with and without intellectual disability, to determine the rate and type of psychiatric disorders and possible association with risk factors. We assessed 101 children (57 males, 44 females) aged 4.5-9.8 years. 90.5 % of the sample met the criteria. Most common diagnoses were: generalized anxiety disorder (66.5 %), specific phobias (52.7 %) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (59.1 %). Boys were more likely to have oppositional defiant disorder (OR 3.9). Higher IQ was associated with anxiety disorders (OR 2.9) and older age with agoraphobia (OR 5.8). Night terrors was associated with parental psychological distress (OR 14.2). Most young ASD children met the criteria for additional psychopathology.
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ABSTRACT: Most research on mental health in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) has focused on deficits. We examined individual (i.e., sociocommunicative skills, adaptive behavior, functional cognitive skills) and contextual (i.e., home, school, and community participation) correlates of thriving in 330 youth with ID and ASD compared to youth with ID only, 11-22 years of age (M = 16.74, SD = 2.95). Youth with ASD and ID were reported to thrive less than peers with ID only. Group differences in sociocommunicative ability and school participation mediated the relationship between ASD and less thriving. Research is needed to further elucidate a developmental-contextual framework that can inform interventions to promote mental health and wellness in individuals with ASD and ID.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2412-y · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Few published studies have reported on the psychological well-being of family members of individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT). Eighty-seven mothers of girls and women with RTT completed a questionnaire survey about their daughters' behavioral phenotype, current health, and behavior problems, and their own and a sibling's well-being. Mothers reported increased anxiety but similar levels of depression when compared to a normative sample. Across all problem domains on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, child and adolescent siblings (n = 39) were reported by mothers to have fewer difficulties than a normative sample. The severity of their daughters' RTT behavioral phenotype predicted increased anxiety and stress for mothers. Increased RTT daughters' current health problems predicted more maternal perceptions of positive gain.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2457-y · 3.06 Impact Factor