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The Association Between Child Autism Symptomatology, Maternal Quality of Life, and Risk for Depression

Abstract

Parents raising children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been shown to experience high levels of stress and report a lower quality of life. The current study examined the association between child autism symptomatology, mother’s quality of life, and mother’s risk for depression in a sample of 1,110 mothers recruited from a web-based registry of families with children with an ASD. Higher autism symptomatology and a greater number of co-occurring psychiatric disorders in the child were associated with an increased risk for current treatment of maternal depression and a lower maternal quality of life. The results highlight the importance of screening for depression, particularly in mothers of children with ASD and mental health and behavioral challenges.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Autism Speaks (to P. Law).

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Correspondence to Benjamin Zablotsky.

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Zablotsky, B., Anderson, C. & Law, P. The Association Between Child Autism Symptomatology, Maternal Quality of Life, and Risk for Depression. J Autism Dev Disord 43, 1946–1955 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1745-z

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Keywords

  • Parental depression
  • Autism spectrum
  • Parents
  • Parent stress
  • Quality of life