Self-regulated compliance in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder: The role of temperament and parental disciplinary style.

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    • Abstract:
      Regulatory difficulties are common in children with autism spectrum disorder. This study focused on an important aspect of self-regulation—the ability to willingly comply with frustrating demands of socialization agents, termed “self-regulated compliance.” We studied compliance to parental demands in 40 preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder and 40 matched typically developing preschoolers, during separate interactions with mother and father, while engaging in two paradigms: toy pick-up and delayed gratification, which tap the “do” and “don’t” aspects of self-regulated socialization at this age. Parents’ disciplinary style was micro-coded from the two paradigms and child temperament was parent reported. Compared to their typically developing peers, children with autism spectrum disorder showed more noncompliance and less self-regulated compliance to parental demands and prohibitions and greater temperamental difficulties across several domains. No group differences were found in parental disciplinary style. Child self-regulated compliance was associated with parental supportive disciplinary style and with child attention focusing. Findings highlight the importance of parental supportive presence in structuring the development of socialization in children with autism spectrum disorder. Implications for parent–child emotion regulation interventions are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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