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Parental psychopathology and expectations for the futures of children with autism spectrum disorder

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Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background The influence of parental psychopathology and parental expectations on child well‐being is well documented among typically developing populations. However, to date little research has examined the relationship among these factors in families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examines an observed relationship between parental psychopathology and expectations in families with children with ASD in the light of research in other populations. Method Twenty‐four parents of children diagnosed with ASD were assessed for symptoms of psychopathology. Parents completed measures of child ASD severity as well as their expectations for possible outcomes of their child. Results Two main effects were found: higher parental psychopathology and ASD severity were both related to lower expectations. Interaction of ASD severity and parental psychopathology in relation to parent expectations was not observed. Conclusion These results emphasize the necessity of providing services not only to individuals diagnosed with ASD, but to caregivers as well.