The Impact of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Positive Parenting Strategies Among Parents Who Have Experienced Relationship Violence
Evidence supports the use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for well-being and behavior change among parents. This study examined the impact of a brief ACT intervention on positive parenting strategies, psychological flexibility, and distress among parents who have experienced relationship violence.As part of a larger study, 43 parents were recruited from a community outreach center and completed measures of parenting, ACT processes, and distress. Participants were pseudo-randomly assigned to either receive their treatment-as-usual (TAU) or ACT plus TAU. Twenty-five participants received four weekly sessions of ACT plus TAU, and 18 received TAU only. Positive parenting behaviors among parents in the ACT + TAU group improved immediately following treatment compared to the TAU group. Improvements were maintained six weeks following treatment. The hypothesis that psychological flexibility would mediate improvements was not supported.The present study provides initial, preliminary support for the secondary benefits of brief, broad ACT interventions for positive parenting behaviors among parents who have experienced relationship violence. Clinical implications for implementing ACT for parents who have experienced relationship violence and methodological limitations are discussed.
KeywordsPositive parenting Acceptance and commitment therapy Relationship violence Psychological flexibility
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
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