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.
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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.