Rođenje djeteta s poremećajima iz spektra autizma (PSA) i suočavanje roditelja s činjenicom da njihovo dijete ne posjeduje sve predispozicije urednog razvoja koje će omogućiti ostvarenje svih njegovih potencijala, prekretnice su koje imaju značajan utjecaj na funkcioniranje obitelji. U navedenim okolnostima posebna je zadaća i izazov za roditelje izgraditi zdrav i uravnotežen odnos s djetetom izbjegavajući pretjeranu popustljivost ili kontrolu u odgoju. U praksi se često susreću razlike u mišljenjima roditelja o potencijalima njihovog djeteta i načinu na koji bi trebalo pristupiti njegovu odgoju. Osim toga, pokazuje se kako i spol roditelja utječe na način na koji se suočavaju sa stresom izazvanim razvojnim teškoćama djeteta. U skladu s time roditelji iskazuju različita ponašanja čije je odrednice potrebno istražiti jer mogu utjecati na razvoj socijalnih kompetencija, akademska postignuća i psihološki razvoj djeteta. Odnos roditelja prema djetetu ovisi o puno čimbenika, između ostalog i o njihovoj dobi, obrazovanju, sredini u kojoj žive, kulturnom nasljeđu, svjetonazoru itd. U ovome radu ispitat će se razlike u samoprocjeni odrednica roditeljskog ponašanja roditelja djece s PSA s obzirom na obilježja prisutnost/neprisutnost nepoželjnih ponašanja kod djece te moguću pojavnost tih razlika s obzirom na doprinos varijabli dob djeteta i spol roditelja. Naime, prisutnost/neprisutnost nepoželjnih ponašanja pokazala se značajnim prediktorom iznimnoga stresa i loše kvalitete života roditelja djece s PSA te narušene kvalitete odnosa roditelja i djece s PSA. Rezultati ovog istraživanja trebali bi dati nove uvide u odrednice roditeljskog ponašanja roditelja djece s PSA i pružiti nova saznanja stručnjacima kako bi im omogućili kvalitetniju podršku. Također, nove spoznaje mogle bi potaknuti roditelje na konstruktivno osvještavanje vlastitog ponašanja te pozitivnih ili negativnih učinaka istog na razvoj djeteta i poželjnu kvalitetu života čitave obitelji.
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Having a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and parents' confronting with the fact their child is not born predispositioned to achieveing its full potential has a strong influence on family functioning. Under these circumstances, there exists an especially demanding task to build a happy and healthy relationship with their child while maintaining a balance between demandeness and responsiveness. Parenting is continually exposed to new research findings that could contribute to more effective parent behaviour, more constructive parent-child relation and it's positive outcomes. Hence, solid emotional connection between parents and children affords children a solid foundation for the development of cognitive, emotional and social skills. There are evident differences among parents, on approaching their child's raising and the belief of its abbilities, based on each parent's gender. Furthermore, different genders handle stress caused by developmental difficulties of their children differently.Therefore, parents express unalike dimensions of parent's behaviour worth examining in view ofthe fact that it impacts development of child's social competents, academic success and psychological development. Although, several theoretical perspectives originated in the 20th century could be used to explore the determinants of parenting influenced by gender specifities: biological, social, social-psychological and cognitive theories. Obviously, more information is needed regarding the intention to understand and predict parent's intentions and behaviours. The aim of this study was to review systematically the literature based on not only mentioned theories, but others such as feminism, androginy, gender-scheme theory and Freud's psychoanalytic theory. The majority of the earlier parenting researches were based on mothers’ behaviors, so there was need for more intensive exploring father's behaviour. Also, some researchers argue that it is inappropriate to apply results or measures of mother's behaviour to fathering and emphasize need for unique predictive abilities of maternal and paternal measures. Many studies have considered the possibility that child might interact differently with fathering than with mothering. According to that, there is need to consider and identify the relative importance of mothering and fathering for developmental outcomes of child with ASD. This study investigates influence of mother's and father's parental behaviour, their connection and support regarding the fact that their basic gender and personality differences can alter the mentioned relations. Parent-child relationship depends on many key factors, by instance: parent's age, education, environment etc. This research examines differences in dimensions of percieved parental behaviour among parents of child with ASD based on presence (absence) of undesirable child behaviour and incidence of those differences amongst parents of children with undesirable behaviour present and absent, in context of child's age and parents' sex. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. ASD is characterised by impairments in communication and reciprocal social interaction and also can impact on relationship with parents and other family members. There are many unique issues for the family such as rigidity of family schedules, children's behavioural problems, social isolation, lack of support, stress and depression caused by children's disorder etc. Maladaptive behaviors are consider as tough issue for a child, parents and whole family system. They are characterized by destructive, repetitive, aggressive, self-harming or bizare behaviors. Self-harming behaviors are emphasized as the most dangerous and they are usually linked to child's receptive or expressive communication deficits. Presence of maladaptive behaviour is considerable predictor of stress and low life quality for parents of child with ASD. There is need to emphasize importance of parenting styles and behaviors of parents of children with ASD, because severity and complexity of family situation so, as well, parents’ psychological symptoms, may influence their parenting. Noted circumstances may be highly associated with parenting styles, for example parents can exert more warmth, but also more control and grant less autonomy to their children with ASD who display maladaptive behaviors. Due to the lack of empirical evidence investigating behaivor and parenting styles of parents of children with ASD, the aim of this study was to explore how children's symptoms (especially kind, severity and frequency of maladaptive behaviors) can be associated with parenting style. Also, it is very interesting to find out is there any influence of parent's gender and child's age to parent's behaivor toward their child with ASD. It has to be known that there may be gender-specific differences underlying parenting style, so future studies should investigate differential parenting styles of mothers and fathers. It is also interesting how parenting styles may differ regarding to child's age. Parenting style is characterised by many dimensions, such as warmth, autonomy, inductive reasoning, behavioral and psychological controle, knowledge, punishing, intrusive and permissive parenting. All of mentioned dimensions, their impacts and implications on parent-child relation has been investigated in this study. The current study found differences in behavior between parents of a child with ASD regarding to his maladaptive behaviors. Results stated that child's behavioural symptoms can play very important role in shaping parenting behaviour. It has to be noted that dimensions such as warmth, autonomy, parental support, knowledge and restrictive controle were highly associated with externalising maladaptive behaviors. This study did not observe any significant correlations between child's age and any of the noted dimensions of parental behavior. These results could shen light on dimensions of parental behaviour among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and give insight to experts enabling their better support for families. A better understanding of influences between children’s maladaptive behaviors and parenting styles may help increase quality of parent's competences and improve parent-child relation. Also, results should help parents be aware of their own dimension of parent's behaviour and its consenquences, positive or negative, on child's behaviour and on possible corrections to it for the purpose of child's most achievable success and reaching the desirable quality of family life.