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Abstract

One of the defining characteristics of neurogenetic syndromes such as Angelman syndrome (AS) and Down syndrome (DS) is delayed language development. Although it is commonly reported that parenting stress is associated with language development, these associations have not been widely studied in AS and DS despite other research showing elevated stress levels in the parents of these children. To fi ll this gap in research, the present study examined how parenting stress relates to language production in children with AS and DS. Daylong recordings were obtained from 72 participants using a Language Environment Analysis recording device, which was then processed through an online program to produce vocal productivity scores. Parents of these participants filled out the Parenting Stress Index, Fourth Edition Short Form to report their stress levels. Using linear regression, data was analyzed to determine if there is an association between language levels and parenting stress in a low- risk (LR) group and if the magnitude of that association was stronger in either the AS group or the DS group than in the LR group. Results suggested trends toward negative associations between parenting stress and language levels, though the association was not statistically significant. Th e magnitude of these associations did not differ significantly between groups. Th is negative association should be examined more with larger sample sizes, as it is important to the future development of early intervention techniques for children with AS and DS and their families.

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