Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Child Care Health Dev. 2018 Nov;44(6):916-925. doi: 10.1111/cch.12612. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Comparison of maternal beliefs about causes of autism spectrum disorder and association with utilization of services and treatments.

Author information

1
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nutrition and Health Sciences, Lincoln, Nebraska.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Davis, California.
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California.
4
Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) Institute, University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study aimed to describe parental perceptions of the causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in an ethnically diverse sample and explore whether these perceptions relate to treatment choices.

METHODS:

The sample consisted of White (n = 224), Hispanic (n = 85), and Asian (n = 21) mothers of a child with ASD. A mixed methods approach was used in this secondary analysis focusing on parental perceptions about the causes of ASD and the relationship of these to utilization of services and treatment.

RESULTS:

Environmental and genetic factors were most often believed to be the cause or one of the causes of ASD by mothers across all ethnic groups studied. Asian mothers were more likely to cite multiple causes. Environmental causes were associated with receiving 20 or more hours of autism-related services per week, whereas belief in environmental exposures and vaccines and medications as causes were associated with complementary-alternative medicine (CAM) use.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that ethnic differences in autism causal beliefs and treatment choices may exist. Future research should be conducted to specifically confirm the findings, to understand parental motivation behind their service and treatment choices, and to gain more insight into the types, usage, and sources of CAM treatments. Clinicians can use parental autism causal beliefs in discussions about treatment recommendations.

KEYWORDS:

autism spectrum disorder; causes; parental beliefs; services and treatment

PMID:
30136409
PMCID:
PMC6447086
[Available on 2019-11-01]
DOI:
10.1111/cch.12612
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center