Self- and Co-regulation of Anger and Fear in Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Maternal Parenting Style and Temperament

Abstract

Emotion regulation (ER) difficulties are a major concern in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Maternal temperament and parenting style have significant effects on children’s ER. However, these effects have not been studied in children with ASD. Forty preschoolers with ASD and their mothers and forty matched controls engaged in fear and anger ER paradigms, micro-coded for child self- and co-regulatory behaviors and parent’s regulation-facilitation. Mothers’ parenting style and temperament were self-reported. In the ASD group only, maternal authoritarian style predicted higher self-regulation and lower co-regulation of anger and maternal authoritative style predicted higher self-regulation of fear. Maternal temperament did not predict child’s ER. Findings emphasize the importance of maternal flexible parenting style in facilitating ER among children with ASD.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the participants and their families. The study was supported by the Association for Children at Risk, Givat-Shmuel, Israel.

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Correspondence to Ofer Golan.

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Hirschler-Guttenberg, Y., Feldman, R., Ostfeld-Etzion, S. et al. Self- and Co-regulation of Anger and Fear in Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Maternal Parenting Style and Temperament. J Autism Dev Disord 45, 3004–3014 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2464-z

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Preschool children
  • Emotion regulation
  • Parenting style
  • Maternal temperament