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Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1705–1720 | Cite as

Broader Autism Phenotype in Parents of Children with Autism: A Systematic Review of Percentage Estimates

  • Eric RubensteinEmail author
  • Devika ChawlaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The broader autism phenotype (BAP) is a collection of sub-diagnostic autistic traits more common in families of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the general population. BAP is a latent construct that can be defined using different domains, measured using multiple instruments, and reported using different techniques. Therefore, estimates of BAP may vary greatly across studies. Our objective was to systematically review studies that reported occurrence of BAP in parents of children with ASD in order to quantify and describe heterogeneity in estimates. We systematically searched PubMed and Scopus using PRISMA guidelines for studies quantifying percentage of parents of children with ASD who had BAP. We identified 41 studies that measured BAP in parents of children with ASD. These studies used eight different instruments, four different forms of data collection, and had a wide range of sample sizes (N = 4 to N = 3299). Percentage with BAP ranged from 2.6% to 80%. BAP was more prevalent in fathers than mothers. Parental BAP may be an important tool for parsing heterogeneity in ASD etiology and for developing parent-mediated ASD interventions. However, the variety in measurement instruments and variability in study samples limits our ability to synthesize estimates. To improve measurement of BAP and increase consistency across studies, universal methods should be accepted and adopted across studies. A more consistent approach to BAP measurement may enable efficient etiologic research that can be meta-analyzed and may allow for a larger evidence base that can be used to account for BAP when developing parent-mediated interventions.

Keywords

Broader autism phenotype Review Endophenotype Parent ASD 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Autism Speaks grant 10052.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. E.R. conceived of the study idea and design. E.R. and D.C conducted the literature search and review. E.R. organized and drafted the manuscript. E.R. and D.C. reviewed and edited the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10826_2018_1026_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
Supplement 1

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin-Madison, Waisman CenterMadisonUSA

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