Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1147–1160 | Cite as

Children with Autism: Quality of Life and Parental Concerns

  • Li-Ching LeeEmail author
  • Rebecca A. Harrington
  • Brian B. Louie
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
Original Paper


Past research has shown that children with autism and their families have compromised quality of life (QOL) in several domains. This study examined QOL and parental concerns in children with autism during early childhood, childhood, and adolescence compared to children with Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and to typical controls from a US national sample. Families with children diagnosed with autism reported more profound QOL effects than families of children with ADD/ADHD or unaffected controls. Children with autism were significantly less likely to attend religious services, more likely to miss school, and less likely to participate in organized activities. Parental concerns over learning difficulty, being bullied, stress-coping, and achievement were overwhelming in the autism group relative to the comparison groups.


Autism ADD ADHD Quality of life Parental concern 



The authors were supported by CDC cooperative agreement U10/CCU320408-05. We thank Andrew W. Zimmerman, MD, for his review of the manuscript and helpful comments. The analyses, interpretations, and conclusions addressed in this publication are the authors’ responsibility and do not represent the opinions of the National Center for Health Statistics. A preliminary version of this report was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Montreal, Canada, June 2006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li-Ching Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebecca A. Harrington
    • 2
  • Brian B. Louie
    • 3
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsDrexel University School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA

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