Parenting stress reduces the effectiveness of early teaching interventions for autistic spectrum disorders

Lisa Osborne, Louise McHugh, Jo Saunders, Phil Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Citations (Scopus)


This community-based study examined the influence of early teaching interventions on children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and the dynamics between the time intensity of the interventions and parenting stress, on child outcomes. Intellectual, educational, and adaptive behavior and social functioning were all measured. Sixty-five children were divided into four groups, based on the levels of time intensity of their intervention, and on their parents’ stress levels. There were gains in intellectual, educational, and adaptive behavioral and social skills, and there was a positive relationship between the time intensity of the early teaching interventions and child outcome gains. More importantly, however, high levels of parenting stress counteracted the effectiveness of the early teaching interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1103
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • parenting stress
  • early teaching interventions
  • intellectual functioning
  • educational functioning
  • adaptive behavioral functioning
  • ASD

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