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Title: A dynamic transactional model of parent-child interactions in autistic spectrum conditions
Author: Osborne, Lisa Anne
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examined relationships between parenting stress, parenting behaviours, and child behaviour problems in Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Chapter 2 found gains in intellectual, educational, and adaptive behavioural, skills of young children with ASC receiving early teaching interventions. Intervention time- intensity impacted positively on child-outcome gains, but high parenting stress counteracted this effectiveness. Chapter 3 revealed that higher parenting stress was associated with greater child behaviour problems. Parenting stress at baseline was a stronger predictor of child behaviour problems at follow-up, than the reverse. In very young children, ASC severity was related strongly to parenting stress. Chapters 4 and 5 explored why parenting stress had a negative impact. Chapter 4 found that, for parents of older children, parenting stress, communication, and limit setting interwove bidirectionally. In parents of younger children, these interactions were unidirectional; higher initial parenting stress resulted in poorer communication, but good initial limit setting resulted in lower parenting stress. Chapter 5 revealed that better parental limit setting at baseline produced fewer child behaviour problems at follow-up. Limit setting mediated the relationship between parenting stress and subsequent child behaviour problems. Chapters 6 and 7 investigated early stress sources in parents of children with ASC. Chapter 6 gathered parents' perceptions of the diagnostic process, through focus groups. Parents wanted a quicker, easier, and more coherently-structured process, more information, and greater professional ASC training. Chapter 7 investigated impacts of ASC diagnosis on parenting stress. Parenting stress declined from when parents first noticed a problem, predicted by children's ASC severity, but failed to change once diagnosis had been received. This possible contra-indication for early ASC diagnosis warrants caution, and further investigation. An empirically-based model of parent-child interactions was developed, which may contribute to inform theory, and aid practice, in this neglected area of ASC research, especially regarding teaching interventions, and parent support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available