Behavior problems among school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder: Associations with children’s communication difficulties and parenting behaviors.


Research has clearly demonstrated that behavior problems are common among children with ASD. These co-occurring behavior problems place children with ASD and their families at risk for a range of negative outcomes. This questionnaire study aimed to investigate whether and how age, gender, and communication difficulties at the child level and parenting behaviors at the family level are associated with externalizing and internalizing problems among children with ASD (n = 206) and without ASD (n = 187) aged 6-12 years. Results indicated that pragmatic language difficulties of the child and negative controlling parenting behaviors both made a significant and unique contribution to externalizing behavior problems for the ASD group. In the control group, chronological age and pragmatic language difficulties were the most robust concurrent predictors of externalizing problems. With regard to internalizing problems, pragmatic language difficulties and ASD adapted parenting behaviors were significant predictors for both the ASD and control group.