Brief Report: Fathers’ and Mothers’ Ratings of Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Debate is ongoing about whether typically developing siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at greater risk of behavioral or emotional problems than siblings of children without ASD. Most data on behavior is provided by mothers, and we do not know whether fathers’ reports differ. The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (Goodman in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 38(5):581–586, 1997) was completed by 168 mothers and 130 fathers. Parents were more likely to rate siblings as having ‘abnormal’ behavior when compared to a normative population. We found moderate correlations between mother–father ratings. More research may be needed to understand any clinical benefits of gathering data about sibling adjustment from more than one parent in the family. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.
KeywordsAutism ASD Sibling SDQ Mother Father Behavior
- Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative guide to the 1991 CBCL/4-18, YSR, and TRF profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Department of Psychology.Google Scholar
- Fisman, S., Wolf, L., Ellison, D., & Freeman, T. (2000). A longitudinal study of siblings of children with chronic disabilities. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry/La Revue canadienne de psychiatrie. 45 (4), 369–375. http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=search.displayRecord&UID=2000-07768-005.
- Hastings, R. P. (2003a). Behavioral adjustment of siblings of children with autism engaged in applied behavior analysis early intervention programs: The moderating role of social support. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(2), 141–150. doi:10.1023/A:1022983209004.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hay, D. F., Pawlby, S., Sharp, D., Schmücker, G., Mills, A., Allen, H., et al. (1999). Parents’ judgements about young children’s problems: Why mothers and fathers might disagree yet still predict later outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40(8), 1249–1258. doi:10.1111/1469-7610.00541.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Meltzer, H., Gatward, R., Goodman, R., & Ford, F. (2000). Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
- Petalas, M. A., Hastings, R. P., Nash, S., Hall, L. M., Joannidi, H., & Dowey, A. (2012). Psychological adjustment and sibling relationships in siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders: Environmental stressors and the broad autism phenotype. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 546–555. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2011.07.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Seligman, M., & Darling, R. B. (2009). Ordinary families, special children: A systems approach to childhood disability. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Totsika, V., Hastings, R. P., Emerson, E., Berridge, D. M., & Lancaster, G. A. (2011a). Behavior problems at 5 years of age and maternal mental health in autism and intellectual disability. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39(8), 1137–1147. doi:10.1007/s10802-011-9534-2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Totsika, V., Hastings, R. P., Emerson, E., Lancaster, G. A., & Berridge, D. M. (2011b). A population-based investigation of behavioural and emotional problems and maternal mental health: Associations with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(1), 91–99. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02295.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Treutler, C. M., & Epkins, C. C. (2003). Are discrepancies among child, mother, and father reports on children’s behavior related to parents’ psychological symptoms and aspects of parent–child relationships? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(1), 13–27. doi:10.1023/A:1021765114434.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar