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Refining a Self-help Parenting Intervention for Parents of Children with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


   School of Social Sciences

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  Dr L-S I Iao, Prof David Daley  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two neurodevelopmental disorders that often co-occur. Children with one or both disorder(s) have special needs that require appropriate support and resources. Parents of these children usually experience elevated parenting stress compared to parents of typically developing children and children with other developmental problems (Hou, Stewart, Iao, & Wu, 2018, Shimabukuro et al., 2020).  

One widely examined predictor of parenting stress in parents of children with ASD and/or ADHD is child behavioural problems (e.g., Lin, Iao, et al., 2020; Muñoz-Silva et al., 2017). While child behavioural problems can be effectively managed with parent-mediated interventions (Daley et al., 2014; Daley et al., 2018), access to traditional therapist-parent-child interventions can be limited particularly for parents who are disadvantaged and/or at times like pandemics. Self-help parent interventions can be a cost-effective alternative (O’Brien & Daley, 2011). There is a self-help parent intervention for parents of children with ADHD which is both effective and valued by parents (Daley & O’Brien, 2013; Daley et al., 2021; Tarver et al., 2022) but none for parents of children with ASD and ADHD.  

This project aims to better support parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders by: 

  1. co-designing a self-help parent intervention with parents of children with ASD and ADHD using the co-production model developed by French, Daley, et al. (2020), and  
  2. evaluating its effectiveness in reducing child behavioural symptoms and parenting stress.  

The co-production will take the form of a focus group, focusing on the practicality and specificity of the intervention. Qualitative data will be collected, analysed and circulated to parents for quantitative endorsement of interpretations and the self-help material developed. Evaluation of the interventions will then be undertaken in the form of a randomised controlled trial. Parents will be randomised to either an immediate or delayed self-help condition. Outcome measures will include child behavioural symptoms and parenting stress. All will be collected before and after the intervention for both conditions. This project will provide implications to research and clinical practice for both ASD and ADHD.  

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