Parenting a Child with ASD: Comparison of Parenting Style Between ASD, Anxiety, and Typical Development

Parenting children with ASD has a complex history. Given parents’ increasingly pivotal role in children’s treatment, it is critical to consider parental style and behaviours. This study (1) compares parenting style of parents of children with ASD, parents of children with anxiety disorders, and parents of typically developing (TD) children and (2) investigates contributors to parenting style within and between groups. Parents of children with anxiety had a distinct parenting style compared to ASD and TD parents. Unique relationships between child symptoms and parenting behaviours emerged across the three groups. Understanding factors that impact parenting between and within clinical groups can guide the development of interventions better tailored to support the needs of parents, particularly parents of children with ASD.

Keywords: Anxiety; Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Parenting.