July 31, 2019 - 14:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Mothers of young children with autism who focus on improving the quality of their own relationship skills—as opposed to teaching developmental skills to their children—experience dramatic improvements in their level of parenting stress and depression.
That's according to a new research study involving Case Western Reserve University, Medical Xpress says.
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.
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.