The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in Iran is increasing and mothers of these children are exposed to parental challenges. One of the most important determinants of emotional behavior problems in children is the parenting style of parents, especially the mother. So, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between parenting styles in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders and emotional behavioral problems in these children.
This descriptive correlational study was performed on 146 mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (4-13 years old) referred to autism centers in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. The sampling method was available. Standard questionnaires of Baumriand,s parenting styles and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) questionnaire were used for data collection. Data were analyzed using frequency and relative frequency, Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression in SPSS 21.
The findings showed that the dominant parenting style of mothers is authoritative. Also, all children have emotional-behavioral problems, but 63% of children are in non-clinical range and 37% of children are in clinical range. Only authoritative parenting style had a statistically significant relationship with the subscales of anxiety, physical problems, and aggressive behavior (p<0.05).
Given the high prevalence of emotional-behavioral problems and the relationship between some of its subscales with parenting styles, it is necessary to educate mothers about the nature and characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. This would improve their understanding of problematic behaviors of their children, thus, they can act with more awareness and cognition. In this regard, it is recommended to run parent-centered and family-centered educational programs for this group of mothers.
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