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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1411–1418 | Cite as

Maternal Depressive Symptoms Following Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

  • Julie Lounds Taylor
  • Zachary E. Warren
Original Paper

Abstract

The current study examined depressive symptoms, concerning the week following autism spectrum diagnosis and an average of 1.4 years later, in mothers (n = 75) of young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Over three-quarters of mothers (78.7%) provided retrospective reports of clinically significant depressive symptoms regarding the week following their child’s ASD diagnosis, with some 37.3% continuing to report clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms at follow-up. Depressive symptoms immediately following diagnosis were not related to initial global characteristics of child functioning, but were related to reported child problem behaviors and financial barriers at follow-up. Results of this study underscore the importance of attention to caregiver distress and depression within models of autism detection and intervention.

Keywords

Maternal depression Autism spectrum disorder Caregiver distress 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a grant from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Marino Autism Research Institute. This includes core support from NCRR/NIH (UL1 RR024975-01) and NICHD (P30HD15052). We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the parents and children who took part in this study and the support of the clinical research staff of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and Special Education, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum DisordersVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum DisordersVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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