Transition and change in adolescents and young adults with autism: longitudinal effects on maternal well-being

Am J Ment Retard. 2007 Nov;112(6):401-17. doi: 10.1352/0895-8017(2007)112[401:TACIAA]2.0.CO;2.


We investigated how change in the characteristics of 140 adolescents and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) would predict subsequent change in maternal well-being and in the quality of the mother-child relationship. Overall patterns of improvement in maternal well-being and mother-child relationship quality were observed during the study. When the son or daughter had declining behavior problems, were prescribed more psychotropic medications, and exited from high school during the study period, mothers' well-being and perception of relationship quality improved to a greater extent. In addition, improvements in maternal well-being and relationship quality were observed in mothers of daughters, in mothers of individuals with mental retardation as well as ASD, and in mothers of those in better health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asperger Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Disabled Children*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors