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A Strength-Focused Parenting Intervention May Be a Valuable Augmentation to a Depression Prevention Focus for Adolescents with Autism

  • Ian M. Shochet
  • Beth R. Saggers
  • Suzanne B. Carrington
  • Jayne A. OrrEmail author
  • Astrid M. Wurfl
  • Bonnie M. Duncan
Original Paper

Abstract

High depression rates for adolescents with autism indicate a need for a comprehensive prevention approach. Parents can promote parent–child factors that buffer adolescents from depression. However, parenting adolescents with autism presents challenges which can diminish parental self-efficacy and mental wellbeing with potential negative sequelae for their adolescents. This proof-of-concept study investigated the value of adding a strength-focused parenting intervention to a depression-prevention intervention for adolescents with autism. A Consensual Qualitative Research framework analysed 15 parents’ intervention experience. Parents reported that feeling isolated and unsupported by existing services motivated their participation, and they valued interacting with other parent participants. They also reported that the program enhanced wellbeing and parenting efficacy, reduced isolation, increased ability to parent calmly, and improved parent-adolescent relationships.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Autism Multilayered school-based intervention Parenting young adolescents with autism Parent self-efficacy and mental wellbeing Resourceful Adolescent Parent Program RAP-P-ASD 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Rachel Aberdeen for transcribing the interviews, and to Kate McLisky for conducting the audit of the CQR process.

Author Contributions

All authors conceived of the study and participated in its design. JO and BD coordinated the study and conducted the recruitment of participants. BD interviewed the participants. JO, BD, AW, and IS participated in the interpretation of the data. JO and IS drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This research is supported by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) under Grant No. 2.029, awarded to Professor Ian Shochet and Associate Professor Beth Saggers. The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian M. Shochet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Beth R. Saggers
    • 2
    • 3
  • Suzanne B. Carrington
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jayne A. Orr
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Astrid M. Wurfl
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bonnie M. Duncan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Psychology and CounsellingQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia
  2. 2.Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)BrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Cultural and Professional LearningQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia

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