An acceptance and commitment therapy stress management workshop for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder: a randomised controlled trial

Bird, Celia (2012). An acceptance and commitment therapy stress management workshop for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder: a randomised controlled trial Professional Doctorate, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bird, Celia
Thesis Title An acceptance and commitment therapy stress management workshop for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder: a randomised controlled trial
School, Centre or Institute School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-09-12
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Kate Sofronoff
Total pages 215
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have higher levels of psychological distress, including general and parenting stress, than other parent groups (Baker-Ericzen, Brookman-Frazee, & Stahmer, 2005; Blacher & McIntyre, 2006; Eisenhower, Baker, & Blacher, 2005). Despite this consistent finding, stress management programs designed specifically for this population are few. Preliminary findings have supported Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as an effective intervention for parents of children with ASD (Blackledge & Hayes, 2006; Hocking, 2010). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an ACT workshop in reducing stress and negative affect levels in parents of children with ASD. This study was a randomised controlled trial with 68 parents randomly assigned to two conditions: intervention (n = 35) or wait-list control (n = 33). It was hypothesised that the intervention group would have fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress and higher levels of acceptance and mindfulness at posttreatment than the wait-list control group. The intervention group received a 4-hour ACT workshop over 2 weeks. Participants in both groups were assessed at pretreatment and posttreatment on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, Acceptance and Action Autism Questionnaire and the Mindful Awareness Attention Scale. The intervention group was also assessed at a 3-month follow-up. To compare the differences between the groups on outcome measures, mixed between-within subjects multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were used. The follow-up data was analysed with repeated measures MANOVAs. Overall, the results of the randomised controlled trial did not support the predicted group differences on outcomes. There were no significant differences between the groups and over time on the parent outcome measures. Possible explanations for the null findings, the study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Keyword Autism spectrum disorders
Acceptance and commitment therapy
Psychology
Parenting stress

 
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Created: Sat, 13 Oct 2012, 12:09:00 EST by Celia Bird on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences