Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1769–1779 | Cite as

Comparative Effects of Mindfulness and Support and Information Group Interventions for Parents of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities

  • Yona Lunsky
  • Richard P. Hastings
  • Jonathan A. Weiss
  • Anna M. Palucka
  • Sue Hutton
  • Karen White
Original Paper


This study evaluated two community based interventions for parents of adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Parents in the mindfulness group reported significant reductions in psychological distress, while parents in the support and information group did not. Reduced levels of distress in the mindfulness group were maintained at 20 weeks follow-up. Mindfulness scores and mindful parenting scores and related constructs (e.g., self-compassion) did not differ between the two groups. Results suggest the psychological components of the mindfulness based group intervention were effective over and above the non-specific effects of group processes and informal support.


Autism spectrum disorder Developmental disabilities Mindfulness Intervention Parents 



This work was funded by an Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Developmental Services Research Grant (Grant Number 1314-12). The views expressed in this report are the views of the research team and do not necessarily reflect those of the funders. We wish to thank Carly McMorris, Johanna Lake, Jaffni Pagavathsing, Suzanne Robinson, Arielle Dryer, Lisa Chan for their help in carrying out the project, and all of the parents for their participation. Clinical Trial Registry Parent Supports Intervention Project; NCT00786799;

Author Contributions

YL conceived of the study, led the design, coordination, and analysis, and drafted the manuscript; RPH and JAW participated in the design, statistical analysis and interpretation of the data and helped to draft the manuscript; AMP, SH and KW participated in the design and coordination of the study, developed and delivered the interventions, and assisted in the interpretation of the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yona Lunsky
    • 1
  • Richard P. Hastings
    • 2
  • Jonathan A. Weiss
    • 3
  • Anna M. Palucka
    • 1
  • Sue Hutton
    • 4
  • Karen White
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Educational Development Appraisal and ResearchUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Community Living TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Developmental Services Ontario – Toronto RegionTorontoCanada

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