Children with autism experience challenges with emotion regulation. It is unclear how children’s management of their emotions is associated with their family’s quality of life. Forty-three preschoolers with autism and 28 typically developing preschoolers were coded on emotion regulation strategies used during low-level stress tasks. Parents reported on their quality of life and family functioning, and their child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors. More externalizing behaviors across groups and use of two emotion regulation strategies (self-soothing, deep exhalation) in the autism group predicted lower family quality of life. Findings suggest that children’s emotional outbursts and reduced use of passive comforting strategies are linked to lower family quality of life.
- Comforting strategies
- Emotion regulation strategies
- Externalizing behaviors
- Family functioning
- Parent quality of life