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Relationship Status Among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Principal Investigator:

For this study, we will examine the relationship status of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We would like to understand the relationship status of biological parents of children with ASD with one another (single, married/co-habitating, or separated/divorced). In addition, we would like to understand how the relationship status of this group compares with other families, including biological parents of typical-developing children, and parents of children with other disabilities.

We will be using de-identified data from the National Survey of Children's Health, conducted in 2007, in order to compare these different groups. Odds ratios will be used to determine the rates of relationship stability for families with a child with ASD. Regression analyses will be used to delineate factors that may contribute to parents being separated or divorced among families of children with ASD. Several models will be built in order to examine the impact of family demographics and characteristics, as well as child-specific variables, including symptom severity and co-morbid disorders.

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