Mothers of children with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder: pre-existing differences, health and quality of life

Jenny Fairthorne

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated] People with intellectual disability (ID) have an IQ of less than 70 and deficits in adaptive functioning. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a debilitating neuro-developmental condition with severe deficits in sociability and behaviour. Researchers consistently report poorer health and quality of life (QoL) in the mothers of children with ID or ASD. However these mothers may have different socio-demographic and health profiles from other mothers prior to their child’s birth. While mothers of minority race-ethnicities have been reported to be less likely to have a child with ASD than Caucasian mothers, there may be a complex inter-relationship between maternal race-ethnicity, immigration, region of birth and the risk of having a child with ASD compared to mothers with no ID or ASD. Mothers with a child with ASD have been reported to have more mental health problems both before and after the birth. I wanted to investigate how much of the psychiatric ill health in mothers of children with ID or ASD was pre-existing, possibly due to genetic factors, and how much was associated with the burden of caring.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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