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Is there a bidirectional relationship between maternal well-being and child problem behaviors in autism spectrum disorders?: longitudinal analysis of a population-defined sample of young children

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Autism Research
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)201-211
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/02/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between maternal psychological well-being and behavior problems in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is bidirectional. Data were available at 9 months, 3 years, and 5 years old for 132 children with ASD, identified from a population-representative sample of UK children. Three-wave cross-lagged models examined reciprocal effects between child behavior and maternal well-being (psychological distress, physical health functioning, and life satisfaction). Results indicated that the relationships between maternal well-being and child problem behaviors were not bidirectional. Specifically, findings suggested that while early behavior problems are not a risk factor for later maternal well-being, maternal psychological distress, physical health limitations, and lower life satisfaction are risk factors for later child behavior problems.