Mothers of Autistic Kids Experience Lower Stress, Depression Levels

by Iswarya on  August 1, 2019 at 1:16 PM Mental Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Mothers of autistic kids who focus on improving the quality of their own relationship skills experience dramatic improvements in their level of stress and depression, reveals a new study. The findings of the study are published in the International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.
Mothers of Autistic Kids Experience Lower Stress, Depression Levels
Mothers of Autistic Kids Experience Lower Stress, Depression Levels

The study, co-authored by Gerald Mahoney, the Verna Houck Motto Professor of Families and Communities and associate dean for research and training at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, examined the effects of this technique in a small experimental research study involving 28 preschool-aged children with autism and their parents in Saudi Arabia.

Show Full Article


One focus of the study was to examine whether mothers' high stress and depression levels might improve based on their level of responsiveness in daily interactions with their children.

"Saudi Arabia is a country where there are not a lot of services for young children with disabilities," Mahoney said. "We wanted to examine the effects of this low-cost intervention strategy that focused on improving the quality of parents' involvement with their children and evaluate the effects of this intervention on both children and their parents."

Mahoney was joined in this study by a team of researchers from King Saud University and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Autism is a disability not only affecting child development but also interfering with children's ability to engage in social interaction with their parents and others. Parents of children with autism commonly report extremely high levels of parenting stress and depression not only when their children are young but continuing throughout childhood.

Mahoney said that "parents of autistic children in Saudi Arabia are generally not involved with intervention services there, while parent involvement is a major focus of early intervention services in the United States and elsewhere."

So, focusing on improving mother/child relationships made sense, he said.

Mahoney said the strategy worked.

At the beginning of this four-month study, all parents reported clinical levels of stress, and 70% reported clinical levels of depression. By the end of the research, the percentage of parents who received responsive teaching experiencing clinical levels of stress dropped to 30%; and the percentage of parents experiencing clinical levels of depression dropped to 15%. In comparison, there were no improvements reported for parents in the control group receiving no treatment.

In addition, children of parents receiving responsive teaching made significant developmental improvements as well: 44% attained better social skills; 37% improved language development, and 24% enhanced fine motor skills compared to children in the control group.

These findings were recently published in the International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.

"Although this was a small sample, we can say that this research was quite successful," said Mahoney, who has spent decades researching interventions for children with disabilities. "By changing the intervention to a relationship-focused approach, we found that mothers' depression and stress dropped dramatically."

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Recommended Reading

More News on:

Adolescence Depression Autism Depression Height and Weight-Kids Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Andropause / Male Menopause Pregnancy and Complications Bereavement Holistic Management for Depression Tourette Syndrome 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive