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A Comparison of Family Management Between Families of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Families of Children With Down Syndrome.

INTRODUCTION: This cross-sectional study aimed to (1) compare family management between families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Down syndrome and (2) evaluate the contribution of the child (ASD behaviors, feeding difficulties, sleep disturbances), caregiver (mental health) and family (social support) factors to the caregiver's perceived condition management ability and effort.

METHOD: Eighty-five caregivers (56 ASD, 29 Down syndrome) completed quantitative instruments online. Data analysis included independent samples t-tests and multiple linear regression.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the dimensions of family management between groups. More ASD behaviors were associated with lower condition management ability and higher condition management effort. Lower perceived social support and higher caregiver age were associated with lower condition management ability.

DISCUSSION: Integrating care into family life may be more challenging when the child has more social differences and behavioral rigidity. Nursing care should include an assessment of family social support.

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