Time demands of caring for children with autism: What are the implications for maternal mental health

Michael G. Sawyer, Michael Bittman, Annette M. La Greca, Angela D. Crettenden, Taylor F. Harchak, Jon Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between maternal mental health problems and both caregiving time and experience of time pressure for 216 mothers of children with autism. Data describing caregiving time was obtained using 24-h time-diaries. Standard questionnaires were used to assess time pressure, social support, children's emotional and behavioural problems, and maternal mental health problems. After adjusting for the effect of children's age, maternal social support, and children's behaviour problems, time pressure but not hours of caregiving, had a significant positive relationship with maternal mental health problems. Findings suggest that the quality of homebased care for children with autism may be adversely affected if time pressure experienced by caregivers compromises their mental health and well being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-628
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Caregiving time
  • Mental health problems
  • Mothers
  • Time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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