The Relationship Between Autism and Parenting Stress

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop E-86, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 03/2007; 119 Suppl 1(Supplement):S114-21. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2089Q
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed associations between parenting a child with autism and stress indicators.
In the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health, parents or other knowledgeable adult respondents for children aged 4 to 17 years reported their recent feelings about their life sacrifices to care for their child, difficulty caring for their child, frustration with their child's actions, and anger toward their child. Responses were compiled in the Aggravation in Parenting Scale. Parents of children reported to have autism (N = 459) were compared with parents of: (1) children with special health care needs including emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems other than autism that necessitated treatment (children with other developmental problems [N = 4545]); (2) children with special health care needs without developmental problems (N = 11475); and (3) children without special health care needs (N = 61826). Weighted estimates are presented.
Parents of children with autism were more likely to score in the high aggravation range (55%) than parents of children with developmental problems other than autism (44%), parents of children with special health care needs without developmental problems (12%), and parents of children without special health care needs (11%). However, within the autism group, the proportion of parents with high aggravation was 66% for those whose child recently needed special services and 28% for those whose child did not. The parents of children with autism and recent special service needs were substantially more likely to have high aggravation than parents of children with recent special service needs in each of the 3 comparison groups. Conversely, parents of children with autism but without recent special service needs were not more likely to have high aggravation than parents of children with other developmental problems.
Parenting a child with autism with recent special service needs seems to be associated with unique stresses.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects many aspects of family life, such as social and economic burden. Little investigation of this phenomenon has been carried out in China. We designed this study to evaluate the employment and financial burdens of families with ASD-diagnosed preschoolers.Methods Four hundred and fifty-nine nuclear families of children with ASD, 418 with some other disability (OD) and 424 with typically developing (TD) children were recruited for this study. Employment and financial burdens of families were evaluated using a structured questionnaire; logistic regression was used to examine differences in job change measures by group, and ordinal logistic regression was used to investigate the association between household income and group.ResultsFifty-eight percent of families with ASD children and 19% of families with OD children reported that childcare problems had greatly affected their employment decisions, compared with 9% of families with TD children (p¿<¿0.001). Age of child, parental education and parental age notwithstanding, having a child with ASD and having a child with OD were both associated with increased odds of reporting that childcare greatly interfered with employment (ASD, OR: 15.936; OD, OR: 2.502; all p¿<¿0.001) and decreased the odds of living in a higher-income household (ASD, estimate¿=¿-1.271; OD, estimate¿=¿-0.569; all p¿<¿0.001). The average loss of annual income associated with having a child with ASD was Chinese RenMinBi (RMB) 44,077 ($7,226), compared with RMB 20,788 ($3,408) for families of OD children.ConclusionsASD is associated with severe employment and financial burdens, much more than for OD, in families with preschool children.
    BMC Psychiatry 01/2015; 15(1):3. DOI:10.1186/s12888-015-0382-4 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The stress of caring for a loved one with chronic illness has been associated with childhood obesity. Hair cortisol has been proposed as a novel biomarker of chronic psychological stress. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between caregivers' chronic stress evaluated by hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) and obesity measures among children with disabilities such as autism. Eighty-five dyads of children with disabilities and their primary caregivers participated in the study between April and July 2013 in the Patagonia Region, Chile. Trained research staff conducted anthropometric measurements of children and caregivers. Cortisol concentrations, extracted from hair samples with methanol, were quantified using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Pearson's correlation coefficients and linear regression models were used to examine the associations between caregiver HCC (log-transformed) and child obesity measures with adjustment for covariates. Caregiver HCC were positively and significantly correlated with child weight (child age- and sex-adjusted r =0.23, P = 0.036), body mass index (BMI) (r = 0.23, P = 0.035), circumferences of neck (r = 0.30, P = 0.006), waist (r = 0.27, P = 0.014), and hip (r = 0.22, P = 0.044). After adjustment for children's age and sex, caregiver HCC were significantly related to child weight (kg) (beta = 4.47, standard error (SE) = 2.09), BMI (kg/m(2)) (beta = 1.52, SE = 0.71), neck circumference (cm) (beta = 1.20, SE = 0.43), waist circumference (cm) (beta = 3.75, SE = 1.50), and hip circumference (cm) (beta = 3.02, SE = 1.48). Caregiver HCC were also positively but not statistically significantly associated with child waist-to-hip ratio (beta = 0.01, SE = 0.01; P = 0.191) or body fat percentage (%) (beta = 2.11, SE = 1.28; P = 0.104). Further adjustment for other covariates including child disability diagnosis and caregiver age, sex, education, current smoking, perceived stress, and caregiver BMI did not change the results substantially. Chronic stress of caregivers, evaluated by increased cortisol concentrations in hair, was positively associated with obesity measures among children with disabilities.
    BMC Pediatrics 12/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12887-015-0322-y · 1.92 Impact Factor

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