Factors associated with caregiver burden among parents of individuals with ASD: Differences across intellectual functioning
Weiss, Jonathan A.
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Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) persist into adolescence and adulthood, when access to health services and supports become difficult. Consequently, most adolescents and adults with ASD remain reliant on their families for support, often resulting in caregiver burden among parents. This study aims to investigate factors associated with burden in parents of adolescents and young adults with ASD, and to understand how these factors differ across varying levels of intellectual functioning. Of the 297 parents sampled, ASD severity, externalizing behaviors, medical comorbidity, and parent age predicted burden in parents of adolescents and young adults with ASD and an intellectual disability (ID), whereas an inability to pay for services predicted burden in parents of individuals with ASD and no ID. Factors associated with caregiver burden differed among individuals with and without ID and were not limited to symptom severity or mental health problems, but also extended to system factors.