Psychological adaptation in children with autism spectrum disorder and its effect on family quality of life
Introduction. In most children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), other difficulties that do not fall within the diagnostic criteria arose, and could have an impact on family quality of life. Previous research has shown several relationships among these variables and family quality of life, however results are contradictories.
Aim. To examine the role of psychological adaptation (including emotional symptoms, behavioral problems, hyperactivity, problems with peers, and prosocial behavior) in children with ASD and typical development, and its impact on family quality of life.
Subjects and methods. Twenty-four families of children with ASD (level 1 of support) and 25 families of children with typical development between 6 and 13 years old. We have considered diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (following DSM-IV-TR) with ASD-level 1 of support (following DSM-5). We have evaluated intelligence, vocabulary, adaptive behavior, and family quality of life.
Results. We have found significant differences in those variables related to psychological adaptation, and in some components of the family quality of life (family interaction, physical and emotional wellbeing). In our regression model, prosocial behaviors and the group were the main predictors of satisfaction on family quality of life.
Conclusion. It is important to pay attention to the prosocial behaviors in ASD due to its potential protective effect.
Key words. Adaptive behavior. Asperger syndrome. Autism. Autism spectrum disorder. Prosocial behavior. Quality of life.