Gardiner, E., Miller, A. R., & Lach, L. M. (2020). Service adequacy and the relation between child behavior problems and negative family impact reported by primary caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 104, 103712. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2020.103712
Raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder or disability (NDD/D) presents unique challenges to the family, and presence of behavior problems has been identified as a critical risk factor for a broad range of family outcomes. The current study examines whether caregivers’ perceptions of child and family service adequacy mediate or moderate the relation between children’s behavioral difficulties and negative family impact.
Caregivers provided data for 215 children with NDD/D (M = 8.16 years), completing measures of child behavior problems (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), perceived child and family service inadequacy (Supports and Services Questionnaire), and family impact (Family Impact of Childhood Disability Scale). Both child and family service inadequacy partially mediated, but did not moderate the association between child behavior problems and perceived negative family impact.
The current study highlights that all families of children with NDD/D are in need of support, irrespective of the severity of their child’s behavioral difficulties. Furthermore, the findings reinforce that access to a range of supports serving both the child and family is critical to ameliorating negative perceptions regarding the impact of a child’s disability on family life.