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Parent-child reciprocity plays a signicant role in shaping children's social interaction skills. The development of conflict management skills throughout childhood and adolescence impacts the individual's social adjustment. The increase in conflictual interaction with one's parents during adolescence affects the transformation of parent-adolescent interaction into a more mutual, equal relationship. Adolescents with ASD and their parents may struggle in this type of interaction due to the adolescents' social and regulatory impairments, in addition to their dependence on their parents' involvement and guidance. The current study aimed to evaluate differences in the way adolescents with and without ASD interact with their parents in a conflictual situation. In addition, the association between parent-adolescent reciprocity and the adolescent's social interaction with an unfamiliar peer was examined in the ASD group. Thirty adolescents with ASD and their parents and 30 typically developing (TD) controls were assessed during a standardized conflict interaction. In addition, adolescents with ASD took part in a conversation with an unfamiliar peer. Interactions were videotaped and coded. Results revealed that during the conflictual interaction, compared to their TD peers, adolescents with ASD were more involved in the conversation and less withdrawn from the parent, while their parents were more sensitive and less intrusive toward them. Parent-adolescent reciprocity was poorer in the ASD (compared to the TD) dyad and was positively associated with the adolescents' social-conversational skills with a peer. These findings emphasize the different developmental trajectory parent-adolescent relationship takes in adolescents with ASD, and its impact on the adolescent's social skills. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY
The development of conflict management skills throughout childhood and adolescence impacts the individual's social adjustment. The ability of parents to engage in reciprocal social interaction with the children plays a significant role in shaping children's social interaction skills with peers and with other adults. The transition to adolescence is characterized by an increase in conflictual interaction with one's parents, which transforms the interaction between adolescents and their parents into a more mutual, equal relationship. Adolescents with ASD and their parents may struggle in this type of interaction due to the adolescents' social and emotional difficulties, and their dependence on their parents' involvement and guidance. However, the nature of parent-adolescent interaction, and particularly conflict management has rarely been studied. This study evaluated the way parents and their adolescents with ASD interact in a conflictual conversation, compared to parents and their typically developing adolescents. In addition, we examined how this type of interaction associated with adolescents' social conversation skills with a peer, in the ASD group. A videotaped interaction between adolescents and their parents indicated that parents and their adolescents with ASD engaged more positively in the conflict, but were less reciprocal with each other. In addition, higher reciprocity among parents and their adolescents with ASD was associated with better conversation skills with an unfamiliar peer. These findings demonstrate the different ways parent-adolescent relationships evolve in families affected by ASD, and the important role parents have in shaping the adolescent's social communication skills.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research
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