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Faith Kok

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Title: Exploring the Type of Maladaptive Behaviors with the Most Impact on Quality of Life in Preschool Children with Autism


Biography: Faith Kok


The impact of Maladaptive behaviors on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of pre-school children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is relatively unexplored. This study intends to explore the extent of influence that different types of Maladaptive behaviors (Internalized, Asocial and Externalized) have on HRQOL in this group, when background characteristics (age, gross monthly income, housing type and daily sleep duration) and adaptive functioning are controlled.

Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised (SIB-R) and background characteristic questionnaires from 99 caregivers of children with ASD seeking treatment at KK Women and Children’s Hospital were collected. These were used to assess the severity of Maladaptive behaviors, the level of Adaptive functioning and a few background characteristics of these children. The relationship of these with Psychosocial and Physical HRQOL in these children is assessed with Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL).

Multiple Regression revealed that Maladaptive behaviors have greater impact on HRQOL than Adaptive skills and background characteristics. Asocial maladaptive behaviors have the most unique influence on HRQOL out of the three Maladaptive behaviors, suggesting difficulties in social interaction and communication manifested by children with ASD play the largest role in their HRQOL at this age. Adaptive skills have a smaller but still unique impact on HRQOL, while background characteristics are not significant.

The specific types of Asocial Maladaptive behavior and their impact of HRQOL in this age group can be further studied with ASD-specific scales like Social Responsive Scale (SRS) and Repetitive Behaviors Scale-Revised (RBS-R). More targeted behavioral intervention can be then developed to improve the quality of life amongst preschool children with ASD.