Mothers of children with autism reported fewer depressive symptoms when their children were 4 years old if the child’s father engaged in literacy and responsive caregiving activities – such as soothing children when they were upset or taking the child to the doctor – when the child was 9 months old, according to a new study conducted at the University of Illinois.
Lead author Daniel J. Laxman, who conducted the research for his doctorate in human development and family studies at Illinois, analyzed data on 3,550 children, including 50 children with autism spectrum disorders and 650 children with other disabilities.
Information also was collected on mothers’ well-being and fathers’ involvement in several parenting activities: literacy; play; routine caregiving, such as bathing; and responsive caregiving.
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