Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 1173–1184 | Cite as

Adherence to Behavioral and Medical Treatment Recommendations by Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Timothy R. Moore
  • Frank J. Symons
Original Paper


The extent to which parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities are adherent to prescribed treatments has not been investigated. In this treatment adherence study, parents (n = 220) of children with autism spectrum disorders were surveyed regarding implementation of recommended treatments to manage problem behavior of their children living at home. Overall adherence to medical treatment recommendations was significantly greater than adherence to behavioral treatment recommendations (p < .002). Of the behavioral treatment recommendations, parents reported greater adherence to reinforcement (81.7%) than punishment (68.9%). Child diagnosis (p < .002) and the diagnosis × marital status interaction (p < .05) were significantly associated with reported adherence to behavioral and medical treatment, respectively. Results are discussed in light of the need to address adherence enhancement and measurement methods.


Adherence Parents Autism spectrum disorders 



We thank the Autism Society of Minnesota for their collaboration on this project, and the parents who completed this survey for their time and effort.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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