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The current study evaluated the use of MYmind, a concurrent mindfulness program in which youth with autism and their parents simultaneously receive group specific mindfulness training. Youth with autism can experience emotional and behavioral challenges, which are associated with parental stress. Mindfulness-based programs are emerging as a promising support for these challenges, for both children and parents. While two studies have documented the use of concurrent parent-child programs, neither involve control conditions.
Using a within-subject repeated measures design with a baseline component, 23 parent-child dyads were assessed on mindfulness, mental health, and youth emotion regulation and autism symptoms. Participants also rated their perceived improvement on a social validity questionnaire.
There was improvement in youth autism symptoms, emotion regulation, and adaptive skills, and in parent reports of their own mindfulness following the program. There was also some indication of a waitlist effect for parent mental health, but not for other outcome variables. Participant feedback was mainly positive.
MYmind has the potential to contribute to emotion regulation and adaptability in youth with autism, and mindfulness in parents, though more rigorous controlled trials are needed.
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- MYmind: a Concurrent Group-Based Mindfulness Intervention for Youth with Autism and Their Parents
Priscilla Burnham Riosa
David B. Nicholas
Irene E. Drmic
Jonathan A. Weiss
- Springer US