Effects of parental depression symptoms on parents and children with autism spectrum disorder in the play project home consultation program

Keywords: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, preschool children, parental depression, Relationship Based Intervention


Solomon, et. al. (2014) reported a randomized controlled trial of the PLAY Project Home Consultation Intervention Program (PLAY) with 112 parents and preschool children with ASD.  PLAY, a parent implemented model of early intervention for ASD, had significant intervention effects on parents’ interactive style, children's social engagement and ADOS social affect, as well as on parents’ depression symptoms. This secondary analysis investigated whether parents’ depression symptoms moderated PLAY intervention outcomes. Regression analyses indicated that parents’ depression symptoms did not moderate PLAY effects on parents’ interactive style, children's social engagement and ADOS social affect behaviors. Parents at high risk for depression were as successful implementing PLAY as parents at low risk for depression. However clinical levels of parent depression symptoms at Time 1 did moderate PLAY effects on parents’ depression symptoms. PLAY parents with high depression symptoms displayed greater reductions in their depression symptoms than PLAY parents with low depression symptoms. Findings from this study are clinically significant insofar as they suggest that high levels of depression symptoms do not impede parents’ participation in RBIs. Rather, results suggest that RBIs, such as PLAY, may be effective both at enhancing children's social functioning while having a secondary effect on reducing parents’ depression symptoms.


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How to Cite
Mahoney, G. J., & Solomon, R. M. (2020). Effects of parental depression symptoms on parents and children with autism spectrum disorder in the play project home consultation program. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 12(1), 28-40. https://doi.org/10.20489/intjecse.722333