Perceived negative impact of caregiving demands in parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders from 9 to 25 years of age

Kourtney Christopher, Maira Tafolla, Kyle Sterrett, Rebecca Elias, Catherine Lord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Caregivers of autistic individuals often report higher levels of perceived negative impact of caregiving. We know very little about the trajectories of caregivers perceived negative impact related to caregiving demands over time in autism. Method: The aim of this study was to identify trajectories of perceived negative impact related to parenting of caregivers of autistic individuals and other developmental delays from childhood through emerging adulthood (n = 209). We also explored the factors that predict trajectories of caregiver perceived negative impact including the characteristics of the autistic individuals at age 9 (i.e., social affect, restricted and repetitive behaviors, irritability, hyperactivity, daily living skills and cognitive ability) and caregivers’ race, education, social support, and study site. Results: Latent class growth modelling yielded three negative impact of caregiving classes: (1) a low impact class that decreased over time (n = 68, 32.54 %), (2) a medium impact class that increased in negative impact during adolescence and decreased in emerging adulthood (n = 98, 46.98 %), and (3) a high impact class that decreased over time (n = 43, 20.57 %). Across all classes, reductions in negative impact of caregiving over time were reported in emerging adulthood, but the high and medium impact groups were still elevated in comparison to the low impact class at the last timepoint. Caregivers of children with less irritability and parent-reported restricted and repetitive behaviors were more likely to belong to the low negative impact group. Caregivers who were African American, had lower educational attainment and those with social support were more likely to belong to the low negative impact group. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of continued support for caregivers of autistic individuals over time. The influence of race and education on levels of caregiver perceived negative impact of caregiving are discussed further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102203
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume106
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Caregivers
  • Longitudinal
  • Perceived negative impact of caregiving

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