TitleComparative effects of mindfulness and skills-based parent training programs
NameIadarola, Suzannah J. (author), Harris, Sandra L (chair), Chu, Brian (internal member), Rizvi, Shireen (internal member), Leslie, Alan (internal member), Smith, Tristram (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Parents of autistic children--Mental health,
Parent and child
DescriptionParents of children with autism are documented to report high levels of stress compared to parents of typically developing children, children with chronic illnesses, and children with other developmental disorders. Previous research has indicated both parent-focused and child-focused parent training programs as effective in alleviating parental stress and enhancing meaningful parent-child interactions. Programs that include behavioral skills training are especially represented in the current literature. However, excluding general psychoeducation there is no consistent model for parent-focused groups. In the present study, a behavioral skills approach was compared to one parent-oriented model, a mindfulness group. Mindfulness encompasses several strategies that encourage staying physically, emotionally, and thoughtfully present in the moment, and discourages avoiding distressing thoughts, feelings, and situations. This approach has been beneficial to individuals with a variety of physical and psychological ailments, and has been suggested preliminarily to be appropriate for parents of children on the autism spectrum. Ten parents of children with autism were matched on a measure of parental stress and were randomized to one of the two treatment groups. Each parent group included an 8-week program that incorporated didactics, discussion, role plays, and homework. Outcomes were assessed in terms of parental stress, global health, and parent-child interactions. Feasibility data were also collected. Results indicated that parent training in general was beneficial to the participants, with parents in the mindfulness group reporting significantly lower parental and higher global health scores following treatment. Both groups were effective in increasing parent-child interaction time and decreasing parental ignoring during a play sample; however participants in the skills group demonstrated more directive and intrusive behavior following treatment. Good attendance and adequate response and retention rates were observed. The implications and future directions of this line of research are discussed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Suzannah J. Iadarola
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.