Conventional vs Mindfulness Intervention in Parents of Children With Disabilities

2014-08-27 03:14:12 | BioPortfolio


This application compares the effectiveness of a conventional Parent Group intervention to Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other disabilities. Parent groups are widely-used to provide information, emotional support, education and advocacy. MBSR is efficacious for people with medical, psychiatric or other concerns, and teaches stress reduction through mindfulness training and practice. In contrast to conventional parent groups, the investigators' studies suggest that mindfulness-based interventions may be particularly effective in reducing stress and improving the health and mental health of parents of children with disabilities. The investigators will assess parent factors that may correlate with intervention efficacy in the 2 treatment arms.


Specific Aim 1. To compare the effectiveness of Parent Groups versus MBSR interventions in parents of children with ASD or other developmental disabilities.

Hypothesis 1: Mothers and fathers in both treatment groups will show reduced stress, depression, and anxiety, and increased life satisfaction, health, and well-being. Treatment effects will be more pronounced in MBSR, including more normalized diurnal cortisol patterns.

Hypothesis 2: Improved parental outcomes will persist after treatment, and relate to booster session attendance, and/or the frequency that parents practice techniques learned in each treatment. Improvements will be sustained longer in the MBSR treatment. Parental benefits will impact families, and may be associated with improved child behaviors or less family conflict.

Hypothesis 3. The composition of intervention groups in Year 2 will be adjusted based on Year 1 data, and may reflect continued separation or integration of ASD vs other disability groups, or new combinations of participants.

Specific Aim 2: To identify aspects of maternal, family or child functioning that help explain variability in responses to Parent Group or MBSR interventions.

Hypothesis 4: Mothers or fathers with relatively more stress, health or mental health problems, will show more robust treatment responses. Variability in treatment responses may be associated with child age, maternal age, family ethnicity, and child behavior problems.

Hypothesis 5. Outcomes may relate to factors in the interventionists, greater treatment responses will be found when parents are matched with peer-mentors of the same gender, ethnicity, and child diagnosis.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Psychological Stress


mindfulness intervention, Conventional parent Support Group


Vanderbilt University
United States


Enrolling by invitation


Vanderbilt University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:12-0400

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