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A dynamic transactional model of parent-child interactions in autistic spectrum conditions. / Lisa Anne Osborne
Swansea University Author: Lisa Anne Osborne
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This thesis examined relationships between parenting stress, parenting behaviours, and child behaviour problems in Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Chapter 2 found gains in intellectual, educational, and adaptive behavioural, skills of young children with ASC receiving early teaching intervention...
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This thesis examined relationships between parenting stress, parenting behaviours, and child behaviour problems in Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Chapter 2 found gains in intellectual, educational, and adaptive behavioural, skills of young children with ASC receiving early teaching interventions. Intervention time- intensity impacted positively on child-outcome gains, but high parenting stress counteracted this effectiveness. Chapter 3 revealed that higher parenting stress was associated with greater child behaviour problems. Parenting stress at baseline was a stronger predictor of child behaviour problems at follow-up, than the reverse. In very young children, ASC severity was related strongly to parenting stress. Chapters 4 and 5 explored why parenting stress had a negative impact. Chapter 4 found that, for parents of older children, parenting stress, communication, and limit setting interwove bidirectionally. In parents of younger children, these interactions were unidirectional; higher initial parenting stress resulted in poorer communication, but good initial limit setting resulted in lower parenting stress. Chapter 5 revealed that better parental limit setting at baseline produced fewer child behaviour problems at follow-up. Limit setting mediated the relationship between parenting stress and subsequent child behaviour problems. Chapters 6 and 7 investigated early stress sources in parents of children with ASC. Chapter 6 gathered parents' perceptions of the diagnostic process, through focus groups. Parents wanted a quicker, easier, and more coherently-structured process, more information, and greater professional ASC training. Chapter 7 investigated impacts of ASC diagnosis on parenting stress. Parenting stress declined from when parents first noticed a problem, predicted by children's ASC severity, but failed to change once diagnosis had been received. This possible contra-indication for early ASC diagnosis warrants caution, and further investigation. An empirically-based model of parent-child interactions was developed, which may contribute to inform theory, and aid practice, in this neglected area of ASC research, especially regarding teaching interventions, and parent support.
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences