Transitioning Together: A Multi-family Group Psychoeducation Program for Adolescents with ASD and Their Parents
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Currently there are few evidence-based programs available for families of individuals with ASD during the transition to adulthood. The present study provided a preliminary evaluation of a multi-family group psychoeducation intervention using a randomized waitlist control design (n = 41). Families in the intervention condition participated in Transitioning Together, an 8-week program designed to reduce family distress and improve social functioning for adolescents. Findings indicated significant improvements in parental depressive symptoms and problem solving from pre- to post-intervention for parents in the intervention condition but not for parents in the control condition. Social interactions also improved for youth in the intervention condition relative to controls. Parents reported satisfaction with the program and particularly valued the opportunity to interact with other families.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Adolescence Multi-family group psychoeducation Transition
This research was supported by grants from Autism Speaks (Grant #7523; Smith, PI) and the National Institute on Aging (R01AG08768, Mailick, PI). We are extremely grateful to the families who participated in this study; without their generous support and commitment, our research would not be possible. We are also grateful for the support we received from the Waisman Center (U54 HD090256, Messing, PI), UW-Madison’s Clinical and Translational Science Award Program for community intervention research (supported in part by grant U21 RR025011) and the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin.
All authors conceptualized the study and participated in its design and coordination. LSD performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors read, edited, and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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