Few studies have examined interventions or therapeutic processes that may help parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) manage their stress. This study examines the impact of a brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group intervention, led by parents, among a cohort of 33 mothers of children with ASD. Changes in ACT process measures (psychological flexibility, cognitive fusion, values) were evaluated at pre, post, and 3 months following the intervention. Mothers reported significant improvement post-intervention in psychological flexibility, cognitive fusion, and value-consistent activities in multiple life domains, including parenting, relationships, and self-care. These improvements were maintained at follow-up. The results provide preliminary evidence that improvements observed in depression and stress may be mediated by cognitive fusion and action-values consistency.
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This study was funded by Women’s College Hospital (Women’s Xchange 2015).
Conflict of interest
All of the authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Fung, K., Lake, J., Steel, L. et al. ACT Processes in Group Intervention for Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 2740–2747 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3525-x
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Group intervention
- Psychological flexibility