Parental mediation of television viewing and videogaming of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and their siblings
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Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder spend considerable time in media activities. Parents play an important role in shaping adolescents' responses to media. This study explored the mediation strategies that parents of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder used to manage television and video game use, factors associated with their use of different strategies, and whether mediation strategies changed over time. A secondary purpose was to examine whether parents applied different mediation strategies to adolescents with autism spectrum disorder versus siblings, and the factors that created stress related to managing media use. Parents of 29 adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and 16 siblings completed questionnaires at two time points. Parents most frequently supervised their television viewing by watching it with the adolescents, and used restrictive strategies to regulate their videogaming. Parents used similar strategies for siblings, but more frequently applied restrictive and instructive strategies for videogaming with adolescents with autism spectrum disorder than their siblings. Restrictive mediation of television viewing for the adolescents decreased significantly over the year. Adolescents' time spent in media activities, age, and behavior problems, and parents' concerns about media use were significant factors associated with the strategies that parents employed. Parents' stress related to the adolescents' behavioral and emotional responses to parental restrictions.
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