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Depression in Parents of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Claims-Based Analysis

Abstract

Previous studies showing that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children can have secondary effects on the child’s parents are limited by small sample sizes and parent self-report. We examined the odds of depression in parents of children with ASD compared to parents of children without ASD using a large national claims database. Mothers (OR 2.95, 95% CI 2.81–3.09) and fathers (OR 2.41, 95% CI 2.25–2.58) of children with ASD were more likely to have a diagnosis of depression than parents of children without ASD. Odds of depression also increased when there was more than one child with ASD in the family and with child age. Study results reinforce the benefits of support and education for parents of children with ASD.

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Acknowledgments

There were no grants or other financial supports for this study.​

Author Contributions

AC participated in the design and coordination of the study, performed the statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript; DL conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, assisted with the statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Austin C. Cohrs.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Cohrs, A.C., Leslie, D.L. Depression in Parents of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Claims-Based Analysis. J Autism Dev Disord 47, 1416–1422 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3063-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3063-y

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Depression
  • Parents
  • Services research
  • Claims data
  • Regression analysis