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Associations between Parental Anxiety/Depression and Child Behavior Problems Related to Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Roles of Parenting Stress and Parenting Self-Efficacy
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been shown to experience increases in stress, depression, and anxiety, which are also associated with child behavior problems related to ASDs. Literature-examining potential mechanisms that underlie the relationship of child behavior problems and parental anxiety/depression in this population are scarce. The current study sought to examine the roles of parenting stress and parenting self-efficacy as mediators between child behavior problems and parental anxiety/depression. Using a sample of 134 mothers, these potential mediators were tested. Hypotheses were supported, indicating that parenting stress mediated the relationship between child behavior problems and decreased parenting self-efficacy, and decreased parenting self-efficacy in turn partially mediated the relationship between parenting stress and increased depression/anxiety.