Abstract

This study investigated categories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition and their association with maternal stress. Social affect and restricted and repetitive behaviors were compared with levels of maternal stress, measured by the Parenting Stress Index, in 102 children with ASD ages 2-12 years of age. Results indicated that social affect and restricted and repetitive behaviors were associated with the mother’s stress regarding acceptability of the child’s condition. Additionally, restricted and repetitive behaviors were significantly related to stress involving the child’s hyperactivity and impulsivity. These findings highlight specific areas of stress experienced by mothers of children with ASD that are related to the child’s symptoms, providing information for caregiver support and intervention.

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