Parental Outcomes Following Participation in a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Maughan, Andrea Louise
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Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can experience significant stress, anxiety and depression, which can affect parenting and the parent-child relationship. There is evidence that parent involvement in child-focused therapy may indirectly improve parent mental health, though parent outcomes are rarely measured in this context. The current study examined changes in parent mental health, parenting, and expressed emotion, following participation in a randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioural therapy for children with ASD. Participants included 44 children (8-12 years of age, at least average IQ) and their caregivers. Post-intervention, small treatment effects occurred in the treatment group in parent self-report of mindful parenting, depression, and use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies, compared to waitlisted parents. Small treatment effects also occurred across all parents in perceptions of their children, mindful parenting, and use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. These results have implications for intervention development and evaluation.