Caregiver Mental Health, Parenting Practices, and Perceptions of Child Attachment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2018, 48 (8), pp. 2642 - 2652
Issue Date:
2018-08-01
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© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This paper investigates the role of caregiver mental health and parenting practices as predictors of attachment in children with intellectual disability/developmental delay, comparing between children with ASD (n = 29) and children with other developmental disabilities (n = 20). Parents reported that children with ASD had high levels of anxiety and stress, and attachment insecurity in children (less closeness and more conflict in attachment relationships, and more inhibited attachment behaviours) compared with children with other developmental disabilities. Children’s attachment quality was associated with parenting practices and the presence of an ASD diagnosis. These results highlight the bidirectional nature of the quality of caregiving environments and attachment in children with ASD, and also provide a strong rationale for targeting children’s attachment quality in early interventions.
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