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Infant Effortful Control Mediates Relations Between Nondirective Parenting and Internalising-Related Child Behaviours in an Autism-Enriched Infant Cohort

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posted on 2022-08-22, 06:14 authored by CG Smith, EJH Jones, SV Wass, G Pasco, MH Johnson, T Charman, MW Wan, S Baron-Cohen, A Blasi, P Bolton, S Chandler, C Cheung, K Davies, M Elsabbagh, J Fernandes, I Gammer, H Garwood, T Gliga, J Green, J Guiraud, Kristelle HudryKristelle Hudry, M Liew, S Lloyd-Fox, H Maris, L O’Hara, A Pickles, H Ribeiro, E Salomone, L Tucker, A Volein
Internalising problems are common within Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); early intervention to support those with emerging signs may be warranted. One promising signal lies in how individual differences in temperament are shaped by parenting. Our longitudinal study of infants with and without an older sibling with ASD investigated how parenting associates with infant behavioural inhibition (8–14 months) and later effortful control (24 months) in relation to 3-year internalising symptoms. Mediation analyses suggest nondirective parenting (8 months) was related to fewer internalising problems through an increase in effortful control. Parenting did not moderate the stable predictive relation of behavioural inhibition on later internalising. We discuss the potential for parenting to strengthen protective factors against internalising in infants from an ASD-enriched cohort.


This research was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (G0701484 & MR/K021389/1) and supported by the BASIS funding consortium led by Autistica ( The research leading to these results also received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement number 115300, including financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies' in-kind contribution. The Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) London Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) also contributed funding that was necessary to this work.


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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders






16p. (p. 3496-3511)





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