Parent-Mediated Interventions and the Effects of Maternal Sensitivity on Joint Attention Skills and Social Responsiveness in Young Children with Autism Ann M. Mastergeorge & Chandni Parikh Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona. Method. Background.
Parent-Mediated Interventions and the Effects of Maternal Sensitivity on Joint Attention Skills and Social Responsiveness in Young Children with Autism
Young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders often have deficits in joint attention and subsequent language development. Parent-mediated interventions aim for parent and child engagement in targeted activities designed to enhance repeated opportunities for reciprocity in every day interactions.
Mother-child interactions that are characterized by sensitivity, synchrony, and responsivityinfluence social competency that allow children with autism opportunities to initiate and respond to functional communication
(Aldred et al., 2012; Siller & Sigman, 2002).
The positive outcomes of parent-mediated interventions are likely mediated by the quality of the parent-child interactions
(Dolev et al., 2009; Rogers et al., 2012). These interventions provide learning opportunities for young children with autism to develop pivotal skills in turn-taking and social reciprocity through the dyadic interactions between the mother and the child (Vaughan Van Hecke et al., 2012).
Child’s Joint Attention Pre-Intervention
Child’s Joint Attention Post-Intervention
This study contributes to our understanding of targeted parent-mediated interventions: maternal sensitivity and children’s joint attention behaviors change significantly over the course of the intervention.
Parents of young children with autism can be powerful mediators of change in dyadic engagement: not only for their own behaviors in interactions, but also influence significant bidirectional effects during the 16-week intervention.
Important policy implications for engaging stakeholders: Agencieswho fund early intervention programs need to understand the important and pivotal role parents play in evidence-based parent-mediated interventions.
Child’s Involvement Pre-Intervention
Maternal Sensitivity Pre-Intervention
Maternal Sensitivity Post-Intervention
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in maternal sensitivity and child joint attention skills during the parent-mediated joint attention intervention.
Model fit: 2 (df = 12) = 62.34, p < .001; CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = 0.00 (.000 - .001).
*p < .05. **p < .01.