The early development of infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder: Characteristics of sibling interactions.
ABSTRACT: Although sibling interactions play an important role in children's early development, they are rarely studied in very young children with an older brother or sister with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study used a naturalistic, observational method to compare interactions between 18-month-old infants and their older sibling with ASD (n = 22) with a control group of 18-month-old infants and their typically developing (TD) older sibling (n = 29). In addition, role (a)symmetry and the influence of gender were evaluated. Sibling interactions in ASD-dyads were characterized by higher levels of negativity. Although somewhat less pronounced in ASD-dyads, role asymmetry was present in both groups, with the older child taking the dominant position. Finally, siblings pairs with an older sister were characterized by more positive behaviours. Since differences in sibling interactions may alter the developmental trajectories of both siblings, these early relationships should be taken into account in future ASD research and interventions.
Project description:Complementary and reciprocal interactions are a defining feature of sibling relationships for young children. However, the social and communication difficulties of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make reciprocal play more difficult and play between siblings can be less rewarding. Sibling play can serve an important role in intervention and family cohesiveness, but there is no consistent method for involving siblings in intervention benefitting the sibling dyad. This study evaluated a novel treatment package including training siblings on play strategies to increase positive sibling play in combination with a sibling support group to offer social support for the neurotypical sibling (NT). The effects of the treatment package on NT sibling play and fidelity of implementation of naturalistic play strategies was examined using a concurrent multiple-baseline design across six dyads, five of whom completed the intervention. After behavior skills training, all NT siblings increased the number of strategies they used, and increased the frequency of initiations towards their sibling with ASD. In addition, the percentage of reciprocal play between siblings increased. Generalization probes and follow-up probes demonstrated above-baseline levels of performance across most dyads, indicating that the skills learned generalized across other toys and were maintained over time. Only three of the sibling support group sessions were completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the effectiveness of the sibling support group cannot be determined, social validity questionnaires suggest siblings and parents valued and liked the support group.<h4>Supplementary information</h4>The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43494-021-00043-5.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased likelihood of receiving an ASD diagnosis and exhibiting other developmental concerns. It is unknown how quantitative variation in ASD traits and broader developmental domains in older siblings with ASD (probands) may inform outcomes in their younger siblings. METHODS:Participants included 385 pairs of toddler siblings and probands from the Infant Brain Imaging Study. ASD probands (mean age 5.5?years, range 1.7 to 15.5?years) were phenotyped using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (VABS-II). Siblings were assessed using the ADI-R, VABS-II, Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and received a clinical best estimate diagnosis at 24?months using DSM-IV-TR criteria (n?=?89 concordant for ASD; n?=?296 discordant). We addressed two aims: (1) to determine whether proband characteristics are predictive of recurrence in siblings and (2) to assess associations between proband traits and sibling dimensional outcomes at 24?months. RESULTS:Regarding recurrence risk, proband SCQ scores were found to significantly predict sibling 24-month diagnostic outcome (OR for a 1-point increase in SCQ?=?1.06; 95% CI?=?1.01, 1.12). Regarding quantitative trait associations, we found no significant correlations in ASD traits among proband-sibling pairs. However, quantitative variation in proband adaptive behavior, communication, and expressive and receptive language was significantly associated with sibling outcomes in the same domains; proband scores explained 9-18% of the variation in cognition and behavior in siblings with ASD. Receptive language was particularly strongly associated in concordant pairs (ICC?=?0.50, p?<?0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Proband ASD symptomology, indexed by the SCQ, is a predictor of familial ASD recurrence risk. While quantitative variation in social communication and restricted and repetitive behavior were not associated among sibling pairs, standardized ratings of proband language and communication explained significant variation in the same domains in the sibling at 24?months, especially among toddlers with an ASD diagnosis. These data suggest that proband characteristics can alert clinicians to areas of developmental concern for young children with familial risk for ASD.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are believed to partially share genetic factors and biological influences. As the number of children with these diagnoses rises, so does the number of younger siblings at presumed risk for ADHD and ASD; reliable recurrence risk estimates within and across diagnoses may aid screening and early detection efforts and enhance understanding of potential shared causes.<h4>Objective</h4>To examine within-diagnosis sibling recurrence risk and sibling cross-aggregation of ADHD and ASD among later-born siblings of children with either disorder.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>Using data extracted from medical records of 2 large health care systems in the United States, estimates of recurrence risk and cross-aggregation in later-born siblings of children with ADHD or ASD were compared with later-born siblings of children without these diagnoses. One data set included children seen between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2013; the other included children born between January 1, 1998, and May 17, 2010. Participants included 15 175 later-born siblings of children with ADHD, ASD, and no known diagnosis. The study was conducted from October 2, 2017, to August 14, 2018.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Diagnoses of ASD or ADHD in the later-born sibling, ascertained from medical records, were the primary outcomes of interest; moderators included sex, gestational age, and maternal age.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 15 175 later-born siblings were classified by familial risk status based on the older child's diagnostic status: ADHD risk (n = 730; male [51.92%]), ASD risk (n = 158; male [48.10%]), and no known risk (n = 14 287; male [50.73%]). Compared with later-born siblings of children without ADHD or ASD, later-born siblings of children with ASD were more likely to be diagnosed with ASD (odds ratio [OR], 30.38; 95% CI, 17.73-52.06) or ADHD in the absence of ASD (OR, 3.70; 95% CI, 1.67-8.21). Compared with later-born siblings of children without a diagnosis, later-born siblings of children with ADHD were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (OR, 13.05; 95% CI, 9.86-17.27) or ASD in the absence of ADHD (OR, 4.35; 95% CI, 2.43-7.79).<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Later-born siblings of children with ASD or ADHD appear to be at elevated risk for the same disorder, but also of being diagnosed with the other disorder. These findings provide further support for shared familial mechanisms underlying ASD and ADHD, which may be useful for genetic and prospective developmental studies. Later-born siblings of children with ADHD or ASD should be monitored for both conditions.
Project description:Given the large numbers of families with more than one child, understanding similarities and differences in siblings' behaviors and in parents' interactions with their sibling infants is an important goal for advancing more representative developmental science. This study employed a within-family design to examine mean-level consistency and individual-order agreement in 5-month-old sibling behaviors and maternal parenting practices with their firstborns and secondborns (ns?=?61 mothers and 122 infants). Each infant was seen independently with mother. Firstborn infants were more social with their mothers and engaged in more exploration with objects than secondborn infants; firstborn and secondborn infants' behaviors were correlated for smiling, distress communication, and efficiency of exploration. Mothers engaged in more physical encouragement, social exchange, didactic interaction, material provisioning, and language with their firstborns than with their secondborns. Notably, only maternal nurturing (e.g., feeding, holding) did not differ in mean level when mothers were with their two infants. However, mean differences in mothers' social exchange and material provisioning with their two children attenuated to nonsignificance when controlling for differences in siblings' behaviors. Individual-order agreement of mothers' behaviors with firstborn and secondborn infants (across an average of almost 3 years) was only moderate. These findings suggest that mother-firstborn interactions may differ from mother-secondborn interactions. Future research should move beyond studying mother-firstborn dyads to understand broader family and developmental processes.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with different genetic etiologies. Prospective examination of familial-risk infants informs understanding of developmental trajectories preceding ASD diagnosis, potentially improving early detection.<h4>Objective</h4>To compare outcomes and trajectories associated with varying familial risk for ASD across the first 3 years of life.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This longitudinal, prospective cohort study used data from 11 sites in the Baby Siblings Research Consortium database. Data were collected between 2003 and 2015. Infants who were younger siblings of children with ASD were followed up for 3 years. Analyses were conducted in April 2018. Of the initial 1008 infants from the database, 573 were removed owing to missing necessary data, diagnostic discrepancies, or only having 1 older sibling.<h4>Exposures</h4>Number of siblings with ASD.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Outcomes included ASD symptoms, cognitive abilities, and adaptive skills. Diagnosis (ASD or no ASD) was given at 36-month outcome. The no-ASD group was classified as atypical (developmental delays and/or social-communication concerns) or typical for some analyses. Generalized linear mixed models examined developmental trajectories by ASD outcome and familial-risk group.<h4>Results</h4>In the 435 analyzed participants (age range at outcome, 32-43 months; 246 male [57%]), 355 (82%) were from single-incidence families (1 sibling with ASD and ≥1 sibling without ASD) and 80 (18%) were from multiplex families (≥2 siblings with ASD). There were no significant group differences in major demographics. Children from multiplex families were more likely than those from single-incidence families to be classified as having ASD (29 of 80 [36%] vs 57 of 355 [16%]; 95% CI, 9%-31%; P < .001) and less likely as typical (26 of 80 [33%] vs 201 of 355 [57%]; 95% CI, -36% to -13%; P < .001), with similar rates of atypical classifications (25 of 80 [31%] vs 97 of 355 [27%]; 95% CI, -7% to 15%; P = .49). There were no differences in ASD symptoms between multiplex and single-incidence groups after controlling for ASD outcome (95% CI, -0.02 to 0.20; P = .18). During infancy, differences in cognitive and adaptive abilities were observed based on ASD outcome in the single-incidence group only. At 36 months, the multiplex/no-ASD group had lower cognitive abilities than the single-incidence/no-ASD group (95% CI, -11.89 to -2.20; P = .02), and the multiplex group had lower adaptive abilities than individuals in the single-incidence group after controlling for ASD outcome (95% CI, -9.01 to -1.48; P = .02).<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Infants with a multiplex family history of ASD should be monitored early and often and referred for early intervention at the first sign of concern. Direct examination of genetic contributions to neurodevelopmental phenotypes in infants with familial risk for ASD is needed.
Project description:Adolescents' reports of parental differential treatment have been linked to increased externalizing behaviors. The current study investigated whether adolescent self-esteem and sibling relationship characteristics (age-spacing and sibling relationship quality) moderated associations between parental differential treatment and later externalizing behavior. Data was gathered at two assessments from 708 sibling pairs (94% White; 51% male; same-gender pairs <4 years apart in age). Older/younger siblings were aged MAssessment1?=?13.5/12.1 and MAssessment2?=?16.2/14.7 years. We found that higher levels of maternal differential treatment predicted greater residualized gains in externalizing behavior among older siblings who were (a) the same age as their sibling or near-to and had low self-esteem or (b) three years older than their sibling and had higher self-esteem. Higher levels of paternal differential treatment predicted greater residual gains in externalizing for older siblings with wider age ranges (regardless of self-esteem), and among older siblings with high levels of self-esteem (regardless of age difference). Surprisingly, maternal differential treatment was protective in one case: for adolescents with low self-esteem who were at least three years older than their siblings, maternal differential treatment predicted reduced externalizing behaviors. Paternal differential treatment was protective for more youth than maternal differential treatment: older siblings with low self-esteem who experienced paternal differential treatment exhibited decreased externalizing behaviors across adolescence, regardless of age difference. The findings highlight the importance of self-esteem and sibling age-spacing as particularly salient contextual influences in older siblings' perceptions of maternal and paternal differential treatment, and that maternal and especially paternal differential treatment does not always serve as a risk factor for externalizing problems.
Project description:Purpose:A recent approach to identifying early markers of risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been to study infants who have an older sibling with ASD. These infants are at heightened risk (HR) for ASD and for other developmental difficulties, and even those who do not receive an eventual ASD diagnosis manifest a high degree of variability in trajectories of development. The primary goal of this review is to summarize findings from research on early motor and communicative development in these HR infants. Method:This review focuses on 2 lines of inquiry. The first assesses whether delays and atypicalities in early motor abilities and in the development of early communication provide an index of eventual ASD diagnosis. The second asks whether such delays also influence infants' interactions with objects and people in ways that exert far-reaching, cascading effects on development. Results:HR infants who do and who do not receive a diagnosis of ASD vary widely in motor and communicative development. In addition, variation in infant motor and communicative development appears to have cascading effects on development, both on the emergence of behavior in other domains and on the broader learning environment. Conclusions:Advances in communicative and language development are supported by advances in motor skill. When these advances are slowed and/or when new skills are not consolidated and remain challenging for the infant, the enhanced potential for exploration afforded by new abilities and the concomitant increase in opportunities for learning are reduced. Improving our understanding of communicative delays of the sort observed in ASD and developing effective intervention methods requires going beyond the individual to consider the constant, complex interplay between developing communicators and their environments. Presentation Video:https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.7299308.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>It is well documented that friends' externalizing problems and negative parent-child interactions predict externalizing problems in adolescence, but relatively little is known about the role of siblings. This four-wave, multi-informant study investigated linkages of siblings' externalizing problems and sibling-adolescent negative interactions on adolescents' externalizing problems, while examining and controlling for similar linkages with friends and parents.<h4>Methods</h4>Questionnaire data on externalizing problems and negative interactions were annually collected from 497 Dutch adolescents (M = 13.03 years, SD = 0.52, at baseline), as well as their siblings, mothers, fathers, and friends.<h4>Results</h4>Cross-lagged panel analyses revealed modest unique longitudinal paths from sibling externalizing problems to adolescent externalizing problems, for male and female adolescents, and for same-sex and mixed-sex sibling dyads, but only from older to younger siblings. Moreover, these paths were above and beyond significant paths from mother-adolescent negative interaction and friend externalizing problems to adolescent externalizing problems, 1 year later. No cross-lagged paths existed between sibling-adolescent negative interaction and adolescent externalizing problems.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Taken together, it appears that especially older sibling externalizing problems may be a unique social risk factor for adolescent externalizing problems, equal in strength to significant parents' and friends' risk factors.
Project description:In this paper we aim to reach beyond the dyadic perspective on intergenerational contact and examine the influence of the sibling network on parent-child contact. We include aggregate sibling network characteristics as well as the adult child's position in the network vis-à-vis siblings, and use data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (2002-2004 NKPS; N = 4,601 dyads). Regarding aggregate network characteristics results show that having sisters, having stepsiblings, increasing geographical distance between siblings, and decreasing levels of network cohesion are associated with less contact per parent-child dyad. Regarding the position of the adult child vis-à-vis his or her siblings, results show that having geographically or emotionally closer siblings has a negative effect on parent-child contact. The impact of differences in emotional distance among siblings is stronger when the analyses are limited to parents in poor health. Suggestions for future research are made.
Project description:Background/Objectives:Obesity markers evolve over time and these changes are shared within the family orbit and governed by individual and environmental characteristics. Available reports often lack an integrated approach, in contrast to a multilevel framework that considers their concurrent influence. Hence, this study aims to (1) describe mean changes in obesity markers (body fat (%BF), body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC)) across sib-ships; (2) analyze tracking of individuals within their sib-ship in these markers during 2 years of follow-up; (3) probe consistency in sibling resemblance in these markers; and (4) analyze the joint influence of individual and familial characteristics in these markers. Subjects/Methods:The sample comprises 168 biological Portuguese siblings (brother-brother (BB), sister-sister (SS), and brother-sister (BS)) aged 9-17 years. %BF, BMI, and WC were measured using standardized protocols, and biological maturation was assessed. Physical activity, diet, screen time, and familial characteristics were obtained by questionnaires. Multilevel models were used to analyze the clustered longitudinal data. Sibling resemblance was estimated with the intraclass correlation. Results:On average, all sib types increased in BMI and WC over 2 years of follow-up, and SS pairs increased in %BF. Individuals within sib-ships track high in all obesity markers across time. Consistency in siblings' resemblance was also noted, except for BB pairs in %BF which decreased at follow-up. More maturing siblings tend to have higher values in all markers. Greater screen time was associated with higher %BF, whereas those consuming more sugary drinks had lower %BF and BMI values. Siblings whose mothers had less qualified occupations tended to have lower BMI values. Conclusions:Longitudinal individual tracking and sibling resemblance for obesity markers were found. Yet, different trajectories were also identified depending on the marker and sib type. Individual and familial characteristics exert different influences on each obesity marker.