Abstract

The present investigation explored long-term relationships of behavioral symptoms of adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities with the mental health of their mothers. Fragile X premutation carrier mothers of an adolescent or adult child with fragile X syndrome (n = 95), and mothers of a grown child with autism (n = 213) were included. Behavioral symptoms at Time 1 were hypothesized to predict maternal depressive symptoms at Time 3 via maternal executive dysfunction at Time 2. Results provided support for the mediating pathway of executive dysfunction. Additionally, the association of behavioral symptoms with executive dysfunction differed across the two groups, suggesting that premutation carriers may be more susceptible to caregiving stress due to their genotype.

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