Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Co‑occurrence of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Predict Caretaker Mental Health in a Latinx Sample

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Caretakers to children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) experience more emotional distress compared to community control samples. Risk factors for poorer mental health among this population include symptom severity and an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. This study aimed to ascertain a relationship between NDD severity and caretakers’ mental health. It was hypothesized that co-occurrence of multiple diagnoses would predict higher anxiety and depressive symptomatology and suicidality. Data was collected from a sample of 93 Latinx caregivers to a child or adult with at least one NDD. Multiple NDDs predicted higher levels of anxiety and depression compared to the symptom severity endorsed by caregivers to those with a single NDD diagnosis, but did not predict increased suicidality endorsement. Because caregivers to those with multiple NDDs are at an elevated risk for depression and anxiety, clinicians should consider screening for internalizing disorders in caregivers when treating individual with an NDD.


© 2022, National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

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The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research