Group-Based Parent Training Interventions for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a Literature Review


Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders should have access to interventions to help them understand and support their child. This literature review examines the existing evidence for group-based parent training interventions that support parents of children with autism. From the literature, core intervention processes and outcomes are identified and include parenting and parent behaviour, parent health, child behaviour and peer and social support. Results show a positive trend for intervention effectiveness, but findings are limited by low-quality studies and heterogeneity of intervention content, outcomes and outcome measurement. Future research should focus on specifying effective intervention ingredients and modes of delivery, consistent and reliable outcome measurement, and improving methodological rigour to build a more robust evidence base.

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We thank Judith Mitchell and Colette Beecher, Sheffield Hallam University, for their time, knowledge and expertise at the beginning of the study. We also thank Sarah Massey and the team of information specialists at Illingworth Library, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust for their help and support with protocol development and for implementing the search.

Author information




KO, SL, JF and SA conceived the study. NP provided academic support throughout including research methodology, conceptual development and guidance on the research process. All six authors participated in study design, data collection and analysis for the study. KO and SA led manuscript development with SL, JF, and LM contributing results sections and NP overall comments and manuscript feedback. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jenny Featherstone.

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O’Donovan, K.L., Armitage, S., Featherstone, J. et al. Group-Based Parent Training Interventions for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a Literature Review. Rev J Autism Dev Disord 6, 85–95 (2019).

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  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Parent training
  • Psychoeducation
  • Interventions