Assessing Maternal Functioning in Families of Children with Autism

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Mothers and siblings of children with autism incur stressors that impact their well-being more adversely than mothers of children with ADHD or normally developing children. In Study 1, twenty-six mothers of children with autism (Group 1) were compared to 24 mothers of children with ADHD (Group 2) and 24 mothers with normally developing children (Group 3). All families included a normally developing child (ages 4 to 12). Measures to delineate levels of maternal functioning were administered. Results for Study 1 indicated that mothers of children with autism had higher levels of psychological symptomatology, higher parenting stress, poorer perceptions of their ... continued below

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viii, 225 leaves : ill.

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Oizumi, Joelle J. (Joelle Julienne) August 1996.

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  • Oizumi, Joelle J. (Joelle Julienne)

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Mothers and siblings of children with autism incur stressors that impact their well-being more adversely than mothers of children with ADHD or normally developing children. In Study 1, twenty-six mothers of children with autism (Group 1) were compared to 24 mothers of children with ADHD (Group 2) and 24 mothers with normally developing children (Group 3). All families included a normally developing child (ages 4 to 12). Measures to delineate levels of maternal functioning were administered. Results for Study 1 indicated that mothers of children with autism had higher levels of psychological symptomatology, higher parenting stress, poorer perceptions of their family environment and their ability to parent the siblings, and higher perceptions of internalized problems of the siblings than mothers with normally developing children. These findings support the literature stating that mothers of children with autism may experience increased levels of maternal stress. The reciprocal nature of the parent-child relationship suggests that parents should be involved in meeting the needs of siblings in these families. A subgroup of Group 1 mothers participated in a parent group that occurred simultaneously with a sibling group. Mothers were randomly assigned to participate in a parent/sibling group, a sibling only group, or a wait-list group. Intervention efficacy was assessed using Study 1 measures plus measures designed specifically for the intervention. Overall results of study 2 indicated that mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their parenting of the siblings to have improved after the intervention when compared to the standard and wait-list groups. This suggested that concurrent mother/sibling intervention provided the mothers with beneficial information and contributed to their enhanced sense of competence about parenting the siblings. In addition, mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their family environment and the behaviors of the sibling to get worse at post-intervention, but return to baseline over time. This suggests that the intervention may have initially brought some difficulties to the surface that were resolved over time. Results will be discussed with their implications for further research and clinical intervention.

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viii, 225 leaves : ill.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • August 1996

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • July 7, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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Oizumi, Joelle J. (Joelle Julienne). Assessing Maternal Functioning in Families of Children with Autism, dissertation, August 1996; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277724/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .