Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 311–317 | Cite as

An Examination of the Relations Between Symptom Distributions in Children Diagnosed with Autism and Caregiver Burden, Anxiety and Depression Levels

  • Saliha BaykalEmail author
  • Melih Nuri Karakurt
  • Mahmut Çakır
  • Koray Karabekiroğlu
Original Paper


High stress levels and impairment of physical/mental health in parents can delay early and effective intervention in autism. The purpose of this study was to examine relations between the clinical characteristics of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and caregiver burden, and anxiety and depression levels. Seventy cases under monitoring at the Namık Kemal University Medical Faculty Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Polyclinic with a diagnosis of ASD, and their principal caregivers, were included in the study. The Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale were completed. At multiple regression analysis, autism symptom severity and caregiver depressive symptom levels emerged as significant predictors of total caregiver burden scores. Only the ABC language subscale score had a determining effect on caregiver burden (r = 0.51, r2 = 0.26, p = 0.04). ABC body and object use subscale scores were identified as the symptom cluster affecting depression and anxiety scores (r = 0.25, r2 = 0.06, p = 0.03 and r = 0.28, r2 = 0.08, p = 0.01). Our findings show that ASD symptom severity and depressive symptoms in the caregiver are the most important factors giving rise to the caregiver burden, and that the main ASD symptom cluster affecting the caregiver burden was problems associated with language development. Better understanding of variables impacting on the caregiver burden will increase the quality of psychosocial services for caregivers.


ASD Caregiver burden Anxiety Depression 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was performed with the approval of the Namık Kemal University Medical Faculty local ethical committee (No. 2016/85/06/02). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the instutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saliha Baykal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melih Nuri Karakurt
    • 2
  • Mahmut Çakır
    • 3
  • Koray Karabekiroğlu
    • 4
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department, Medical FacultyNamık Kemal UniversityTekirdağTurkey
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases DepartmentSamsun Mental Health and Diseases HospitalSamsunTurkey
  3. 3.Sabuncuoğlu Şerefettin Training and Research Hospital, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases DepartmentAmasya UniversityAmasyaTurkey
  4. 4.Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases DepartmentOndokuz Mayıs UniversitySamsunTurkey

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