Aims: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the behavioral problems and parenting style among children with autism and their siblings in an ethnic Chinese population.
Methods: A total of 151 children with DSM-IV autistic disorder, aged 3–12, 134 siblings without autism, and 113 normally developing controls were recruited. Both parents reported their parenting styles and psychological status and mothers also reported children's behavioral problems.
Results: Children with autism had significantly more severe behavioral problems and obtained less affection and more overprotection and authoritarian controlling from their parents than the other two groups. Compared to the controls, unaffected siblings showed some behavioral problems, and obtained less maternal care. Withdrawal and attention, social, and thought problems were the most associated behavioral syndromes to distinguish children with autism from those without.
Conclusions: In addition to children with autism, who have a wide range of behavioral problems and impaired parent–child interactions, their siblings may be at risk for such problems.