Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 761–774 | Cite as

Syndrome Specificity and Mother–Child Interactions: Examining Positive and Negative Parenting Across Contexts and Time

Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which child syndromes and observation context related to mothers’ parenting behaviors. Longitudinal observations were conducted of parenting behavior across ages 3, 4, and 5 years during structured and unstructured activities. The 183 participants included mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, undifferentiated developmental delay, or typical cognitive development. Negative parenting behaviors were higher in structured activities and higher in mothers of children in all developmentally delayed groups. Positive parenting was higher in unstructured activities and especially high for mothers of children with Down syndrome. Despite differences found through direct observation of parenting children in different diagnostic groups, they are not as strong as syndrome-group differences found through more commonly used self-report questionnaires assessing domains like parenting stress.

Keywords

Developmental disabilities Parenting behaviors Autism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper was based on the activities of the Collaborative Family Study, supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Grant number: 34879-1459 (Drs. Bruce L. Baker, Jan Blacher, and Keith Crnic PIs). We are indebted to our staff, to the doctoral students who worked on this study, and to the families who participated in this longitudinal research. Support was also provided by the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center in the Graduate School of Education, UC Riverside. Araksia Kaladjian.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms and profiles. Burlington, VT: Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  2. Adamson, L. B., Deckner, D. F., & Bakeman, R. (2010). Early interests and joint engagement in typical development, autism, and Down syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 665–676.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aicardi, J., & Bax, M. (1992). Cerebral palsy. In J. Aicardi (Ed.), Diseases of the nervous system in childhood (pp. 300–367). London: MacKeith.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., Text Revision). Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, J. K., & Crnic, K. A. (2009). Thinking about feelings: Emotion focus in the parenting of children with early developmental risk. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 450–473.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker, J. K., Messinger, D. S., Lyons, K. K., & Grantz, C. J. (2010). A pilot study of maternal sensitivity in the context of emergent autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 988–999.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bayley, N. (1993). Bayley Scales of Infant Development: Manual (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  8. Belsky, J., Crnic, K., & Woodworth, S. (1995). Personality and parenting: Exploring the mediating role of transient mood and daily hassles. Journal of Personality, 63, 905–929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Belsky, J., Hsieh, K., & Crnic, K. (1998). Mothering, fathering, and infant negativity as antecedents of boys’ externalizing problems and inhibition at age 3 years: Differential susceptibility to rearing experience? Development and Psychopathology, 10, 301–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bieberich, A. A., & Morgan, S. B. (1998). Brief report: Affective expression in children with autism or Down syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28, 333–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blacher, J., & McIntyre, L. L. (2006). Syndrome specificity and behavioural disorders in young adults with intellectual disability: Cultural differences in family impact. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50, 184–198.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bornstein, M. H. (1989). Between caretakers and their young: Two modes of interaction and their consequences for cognitive growth. In M. H. Bornstein & J. S. Bruner (Eds.), Interaction in human development (pp. 197–214). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  13. Brophy-Herb, H. E., Schiffman, R. F., Bocknek, E. L., Dupuis, S. B., Fitzgerald, H. E., Horodynski, M., et al. (2011). Toddlers’ social-emotional competence in the contexts of maternal emotion socialization and contingent responsiveness in a low-income sample. Social Development, 20, 73–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crnic, K. A., Gaze, C., & Hoffman, C. (2005). Cumulative parenting stress across the preschool period: Relations to maternal parenting and child behaviour at age 5. Infant and Child Development, 14, 117–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crnic, K., Pedersen y Arbona, A., Baker, B. L., & Blacher, J. (2009). Mothers and fathers together: Contrasts in parenting across preschool to early school age in children with developmental delays. In L. M. Glidden & M. M. Seltzer (Eds.), International review of research in mental retardation (Vol. 37, pp. 3–30). Chennai: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  16. Cyr, C., Dubois-Comtois, K., & Moss, E. (2008). Mother-child conversations and attachment of children in the pre-school period. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 40, 140–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dabrowska, A., & Pisula, E. (2010). Parenting stress and coping styles in mothers and fathers of pre-school children with autism and Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54, 266–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davis, N. O., & Carter, A. S. (2008). Parenting stress in mothers and fathers of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Associations with child characteristics. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1278–1291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Doussard-Roosevelt, J. A., Joe, C. M., Bazhenova, O. V., & Porges, S. W. (2003). Mother–child interaction in autistic and nonautistic children: Characteristics of maternal approach behaviors and child social responses. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 277–295.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dykens, E. M., & Hodapp, R. M. (2001). Research in mental retardation: Toward an etiological approach. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 49–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dykens, E. M., Hodapp, R. M., & Finucane, B. M. (2000). Genetics and mental retardation syndromes. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  22. Eisenhower, A. S., Baker, B. L., & Blacher, J. (2005). Preschool children with intellectual disability: Syndrome specificity, behaviour problems, and maternal well-being. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49, 657–671.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fenning, R. M., Baker, J. K., Baker, B. L., & Crnic, K. A. (2007). Parenting children with borderline intellectual functioning: A unique risk population. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 112, 107–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fidler, D. J. (2003). Parental vocalizations and perceived immaturity in Down syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 108, 425–434.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fleiss, J., Cohen, J., & Everitt, B. (1969). Large sample standard errors of kappa and weighted kappa. Psychological Bulletin, 72, 323–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gartstein, M. A., Crawford, J., & Robertson, C. D. (2008). Early markers of language and attention: Mutual contributions and the impact of parent-infant interactions. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 39, 9–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hastings, R. P., & Brown, T. (2002). Behavior problems of children with autism, parental self-efficacy, and mental health. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 107, 222–232.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Helff, C. M., & Glidden, L. M. (1998). More positive or less negative: Trends in research on adjustment of families rearing children with developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation, 36, 457–464.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hodapp, R. M. (1997). Direct and indirect behavioral effects of different genetic disorders of mental retardation. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 102, 67–79.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hodapp, R. M., Ly, T. M., Fidler, D. J., & Ricci, L. A. (2001). Less stress, more rewarding: Parenting children with Down syndrome. Parenting: Science and Practice, 1, 317–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoffman, C. D., Sweeney, D. P., Hodge, D., Lopez-Wagner, M. C., & Looney, L. (2009). Parenting stress and closeness: Mothers of typically developing children and mothers of children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 24, 178–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., & Chapman, R. S. (2004). Predictors of parent-child language during novel task play: A comparison between typically developing children and individuals with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 48, 225–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kasari, C., Mundy, P., Yirmiya, N., & Sigman, M. (1990). Affect and attention in children with Down syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 95, 55–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Landry, S. H., Smith, K. E., Swank, P. R., & Milller-Loncar, C. L. (2000). Early maternal and child influence on children’s later independent cognitive and social functioning. Child Development, 71, 358–375.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lemanek, K. L., Stone, W. L., & Fishel, P. T. (1993). Parent-child interactions in handicapped preschoolers: The relation between parent behaviors and compliance. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22, 68–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P. C., et al. (2000). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule—Generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 205–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. C., & Risi, S. (2001). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  38. McIntyre, L. L., Blacher, J., & Baker, B. L. (2006). The transition to school: Adaptation in young children with and without developmental disability. The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50, 349–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of family context in the development of emotional regulation. Social Development, 16, 361–388.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pennington, L., & McConachie, H. (2001). Interaction between children with cerebral palsy and their mothers: The effects of speech intelligibility. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 36, 371–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pianta, R. C., & Stuhlman, M. W. (2004). Teacher–child relationships and children’s success in the first years of school. School Psychology Review, 33(3), 444–458.Google Scholar
  42. Ruble, L., McDuffie, A., King, A. S., & Lorenz, D. (2008). Caregiver responsiveness and social interaction behaviors of young children with autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28, 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rutgers, A. H., van IJzendoorn, N. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Swinkels, S. H. N., van Daalen, E., Dietz, C., et al. (2007). Autism, attachment and parenting: A comparison of children with autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, language disorder, and non-clinical children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 859–870.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scarr, S., & McCartney, K. (1983). How people make their own environments: A theory of genotype-environment effects. Child Development, 54, 424–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Siller, M., & Sigman, M. (2002). The behaviors of parents of children with autism predict the subsequent development of their children’s communication. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 77–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Slonims, V., Cox, A., & McConachie, H. (2006). Analysis of mother-infant interaction in infants with Down syndrome and typically developing infants. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 111, 273–289.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stoneman, Z. (2007). Examining the Down syndrome advantage: Mothers and fathers of young children with disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51, 1006–1017.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tehee, E., Honan, R., & Hevey, D. (2009). Factors contributing to stress in parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22, 34–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Venuti, P., DeFalco, S., Giusti, Z., & Bornstein, M. H. (2008). Play and emotional availability in young children with Down syndrome. Infant Mental Health Journal, 29, 133–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Warren, S. F., & Brady, N. D. (2007). The role of maternal responsivity in the development of children with intellectual disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13, 330–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yoder, P. J., & Warren, S. F. (2001). Intentional communication elicits language-facilitating maternal responses in dyads with children who have developmental disabilities. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 106, 327–335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Blacher
    • 1
  • Bruce L. Baker
    • 2
  • Araksia Kaladjian
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations