TitleAn inquiry into how parents of children with autism spectrum disorder interact with their children in a motor skill-based play setting.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKu, B, Heinonen, GAlexander, Macdonald, M, Hatfield, BE
JournalRes Dev Disabil
Volume94
Pagination103494
Date Published09/2019
ISSN1873-3379
Abstract
 

BACKGROUND: Most studies examining parental behaviors of parents of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing (TD) children have taken place in free play settings and have primarily focused on examining social behaviors. Motor skill-based play settings, which are distinctly different from free play settings, have not been explicitly studied as it relates to parental behaviors in these environments.

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine parental behaviors of parents of children with and without ASD in two distinctly different play settings.

METHODS: Parental behaviors of eighteen parents of children with (n = 9) and without ASD (n = 9) were examined by observation in different play settings (free play [a social-play/traditional play based setting] and a motor skill-based play setting). The examined parental behaviors included parental encouragement, negativity, sensitivity, detachment, and intrusiveness. A 2 × 2 (group × play setting) repeated measures of ANOVA was conducted to examine the main effect of group (TD vs ASD) and play setting (a social-play based setting and a motor skill-based setting) and the interaction effect between group and play setting on parental behaviors. Post-hoc independent t-tests between groups in each setting were conducted to follow-up on significant interactions indicated in the repeated measures of ANOVA RESULTS: The repeated measures ANOVA revealed that parental encouragement showed a significant interaction effect, suggesting that the effect of group on parental encouragement depended on play setting. A post-hoc analysis revealed that parents of children with ASD showed statistically significant lower parental encouragement in a motor skill-based play setting but not in a social-play based setting compared to parents of TD children. Moreover, there was a main effect of group (parents of children with ASD vs. parents of TD children) on parental intrusiveness indicating that the mean parental intrusiveness on children with ASD was significantly higher than parents of TD children across both play settings. There were no statistically significant main or interaction effects on the other parental behaviors (parental negativity, sensitivity, and detachment) between groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The current study indicated parental encouragement differences between parents of children with ASD and parents of TD children varied based on the play setting. These results identify a need to examine parental behaviors, especially parental encouragement and parental intrusiveness across various types of play settings. Furthermore, as parents of children with ASD displayed lower parental encouragement in a motor skill-based play setting compared to parents of TD children, future studies are warranted to improve parental encouragement of parents of children with ASD in a motor skill-based play setting.

DOI10.1016/j.ridd.2019.103494
Alternate JournalRes Dev Disabil
PubMed ID31520962