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Parent Training Improves Behavior in Autistic Children

Parent Training Improves Behavior in Autistic Children

A new study finds that providing parents with specific, structured strategies to manage their child’s tantrums and aggression improves behavior among young children with autism spectrum disorder.

The parent training study was performed by Yale and Emory University researchers and has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a chronic condition beginning in early childhood and defined by impaired social communication and repetitive behavior. ASD affects 0.6 to one percent of children worldwide.

In young children, ASD is often complicated by moderate or severe behavioral problems.

The randomized 24-week trial was conducted in multiple sites by the Research Units on Behavioral Intervention (RUBI) Autism Network, a six-site National Institute of Mental Health-funded consortium dedicated to developing and testing behavioral treatments for children with ASD.

Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale Child Study Center, provided oversight for the study at the Yale site. Sukhodolsky and other investigators at Yale played a central role in data management, statistical analysis, and study monitoring.

“Parent training has been well studied in children with disruptive behavior disorder,” said Sukhodolsky.

“Our study shows that parent training is also helpful for improving behavioral problems such as irritability and non-compliance in young children with ASD.”

RUBI investigators randomly assigned 180 children between the ages of three and seven with ASD and behavioral problems to either a 24-week parent training program, or a 24-week parent education program. Parent education provided up-to-date and useful information about ASD, but no instruction on how to manage behavioral problems.

“Parent education was an active control condition,” said James Dziura, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale, who, along with Cindy Brandt, M.D., led the data management and statistical analysis for the study.

“Both groups showed improvement, but parent training was superior on measures of disruptive and noncompliant behavior.”

Source: Yale University/EurekAlert!

Parent Training Improves Behavior in Autistic Children

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Parent Training Improves Behavior in Autistic Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/05/04/parent-training-improves-behavior-in-autistic-children/84223.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.