ACT for autism and related disorders – useful links

Research, articles, reviews and other resources about autism

The Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS), published by the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS), produced a special issue on the topic of Autism in Spring 2023.  ACT is a particularly useful therapy for autistic young people as it can help them to build important life skills including good learning habits, better social relationships and better regulation of their emotions.  We hope you’ll find these a useful list of resources if you’d like to keep up to date with the latest research.

JCBS special issue articles

Special Issue on ACT for Autism and Related Disorders; Guest Edited by Jonathan Tarbox and Evelyn Gould

  • Thomas G. Szabo. (2019) Acceptance and Commitment Training for Reducing Inflexible Behaviors in Children with Autism. JCBS, Vol 12.
  • Nirbhay N. Singh, Giulio E. Lancioni, et. al. (2019) Surfing the Urge: An informal mindfulness practice for the self-management of aggression by adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.  JCBS, Vol 12.
  • Christina Chancey, Cynthia Weihl, et. al. (2019) The impact of mindfulness skills on interactions between direct care staff and adults with developmental disabilities. JCBS, Vol 12.
  • Hahs, A. D., Dixon. M. R., & Paliliunas, D. (2019). Randomized controlled trial of a brief acceptance and commitment training for parents of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.JCBS, Vol. 12.
  • Evelyn R. Gould, Jonathan Tarbox, & Lisa Coyne (2018) Evaluating the effects of Acceptance and Commitment Training on the overt behavior of parents of children with autism. JCBS, Vol 7.
  • Tracy J. Raulston, Patricia K. Zemantic, Wendy Machalicek, Meme Hieneman, Eva Kurtz-Nelson, Hannah Barton, Sarah G. Hansen, Rebecca J. Frantz (2019) Effects of a brief mindfulness-infused behavioral parent training for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder, JCBS 13.

 

Other JCBS articles

 

Other Meta-Analyses and Reviews

  • Chua, J., & Shorey, S. (2022). The Effect of Mindfulness-Based and Acceptance Commitment Therapy-Based Interventions to Improve the Mental Well-Being Among Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-021-04893-1
  • Suarez, V.D., Moon, E.I. & Najdowski, A.C. (2022). Systematic Review of Acceptance and Commitment Training Components in the Behavioral Intervention of Individuals with Autism and Developmental Disorders. Behavior Analysis in Practice. DOI: 10.1007/s40617-021-00567-7
  • MacKenzie, K.T., Eack, S.M. (2022). Interventions to Improve Outcomes for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-021-05164-9
  • Juvin, J., Sadeg, S., Julien-Sweerts, S., & Zebdi, R. (2021). A systematic review: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the parents of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-021-04923-y
  • Byrne, G., & O’Mahony, T.(2020). Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum conditions (ASC): A systematic review. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 18, 247-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.10.001
  • Han, A., Yuen, H.K., Lee, H.Y., Zhou, X.(2020). Effects of acceptance and commitment therapy on process measures of family caregivers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 18, 201-213.
  • Prevedini, A., Hirvikoski, T., Holmberg Bergman, T., Berg, B., Miselli, G., Pergolizzi, F., & Moderato, P. (2020). ACT-based interventions for reducing psychological distress in parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders: Recommendations for higher education programs. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 21(1), 133-157. DOI: 10.1080/15021149.2020.1729023
  • Raaymakers, C., Garcia, Y., Cunningham, K., Krank, K., Nemer-Kaiser, L. (2019). A systematic review of derived verbal behavior research. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 12,128-148.
  • Yu, Y., McGrew, J.H. & Boloor, J. (2019). Effects of Caregiver-Focused Programs on Psychosocial Outcomes in Caregivers of Individuals with ASD: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49,4761–4779. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-019-04181-z
  • Da Paz, N.S. & Wallander, J.L. (2017). Interventions that target improvements in mental health for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders: A narrative review. Clinical Psychology Review, 51,1-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.10.006
  • Lozano-Segura, M.C., & Manzano-León, A., & Casiano Yanicelli, C., & Aguilera-Ruíz, C. (2017). PROPUESTA DE INTERVENCIÓN EN FAMILIARES DE NIÑOS CON TEA DESDE ACT PARA MEJORAR LA CONVIVENCIA FAMILIAR Y ESCOLAR. International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology, 1(1),45-55. DOI: 10.17060/ijodaep.2017.n1.v1.897

Randomized Control Trials

  • Behnamfar, K., Rajaei, A.R., & Teymouri, S. (2022). Comparison of cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy on cognitive flexibility in mothers with autistic children. Social Determinants of Health, 8(1), 1-9. DOI: 10.22037/sdh.v8i1.37302
  • Marino, F., Failla, C., Chilà, P., Minutoli, R., Puglisi, A., Arnao, A. A., Pignolo, L., et al. (2021). The Effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Improving Psychological Well-Being in Parents of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Brain Sciences, 11(7), 880. DOI: 10.3390/brainsci11070880
  • Rostami, M., Keykhosrovani, M., Poladi Rishehri, A., & Bahrani, M. (2020). Effectiveness of Treatment Based on ACT versus Training Coping Strategies on Anxiety and Despair of Mothers of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The Iranian South Medical Journal (ISMJ), 23(1), 56-69. Retrieved from: https://www.sid.ir/en/journal/ViewPaper.aspx?id=766443
  • Salimi, M., Mahdavi, A., Yeghaneh, S. S., Abedin, M., & Hajhosseini, M. (2019). The effectiveness of group based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on emotion cognitive regulation strategies in mothers of children with Autism Spectrum. MAEDICA – a Journal of Clinical Medicine, 14(3), 240-246.
  • Hahs, A. D., Dixon. M. R., & Paliliunas, D. (2019). Randomized controlled trial of a brief acceptance and commitment training for parents of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 12.DOI: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2018.03.002
  • Ahmadi, A., & Raeisi, Z. (2019). Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Improving Self-Efficacy of Mothers of Children with Autism. Quarterly Journal of Family and Research, 16(2), 123-137. Retrieved from: http://qjfr.ir/article-1-1101-en.html
  • Taghvaei, D., Jahangiri, M. M., & Bidaki, Z. Z. (2019). Effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy on psychological flexibility and health promotion among mothers with autistic children. Iranian Journal of Health Education and Health Promotion, 7(2), 143-153. DOI: 10.30699/ijhehp.7.2.143
  • Zare Bidaki, z., & Jahangiri, M. (2019). Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment-based Therapy on Psychological Flexibility among Mothers with Autistic Children. Arak Medical University Journal (AMUJ), 21(7), 39-47. Retrieved from: http://jams.arakmu.ac.ir/article-1-5754-en.pdf
  • Corti, C., Pergolizzi, F., Vanzin, L., Cargasacchi, G., Villa, L., Pozzi, M., & Molteni, M. (2018). Acceptance and commitment therapy-oriented parent-training for parents of children with autism. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27(9), 2887-2900. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-018-1123-3
  • Amini fasakhoudi, M. (2018). The Effectiveness of a Group- based ACT on Psychological Problems Mothers of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Journal of Family Research, 14(2), 277-293. Retrieved from: https://www.sid.ir/FileServer/JF/78913975407
  • Shiralinia, K., Abdollahi Musavi, H., & Khojastemehr, R. (2018). The effectiveness of Group Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-Based Training on Parenting Stress and Psychological Flexibility in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychology of Exceptional Individuals, 7(28), 21-44. DOI: 10.22054/jpe.2018.26885.1695
  • Heidarian, A., Sajjadian, I., & Heidari S. (2016). Effectiveness of group-based acceptance and commitment therapy on mindfulness and acceptance in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Middle-Eastern Journal of Disability Studies, 7, Retrieved from: https://jdisabilstud.org/article-1-718-en.html
  • Pahnke, J., Lundgren, T., Hursti, T., & Hirvikoski, T. (2014). Outcomes of an acceptance and commitment therapy-based skills training group for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A quasi-experimental pilot study. Autism, 18,953-964. DOI: 10.1177/1362361313501091

 

Other publications about ACT and Autism

  • Gilsenan, C. M., Yi, Z., Hinman, J. M., Barron, B. F., & Dixon, M. R. (2022). Using Relational Training to Improve Performance During Acceptance and Commitment Training Sessions. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 15(1), 179-191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-021-00574-8
  • Pahnke, J., Jansson-Fröjmark, M., Andersson, G., Bjureberg, J., Jokinen, J., Bohman, B., & Lundgren, T. (2022 in press). Acceptance and commitment therapy for autistic adults: A randomized controlled pilot study in a psychiatric outpatient setting. https://doi.org/10.1177/13623613221140749
  • Pahnke, J. (2022).Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dissertation: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Melendez, J. L., Tan, I.M.C., Lau, J.C., & Leung, J. (2021). Practical Resources for Talking to Children with Autism about Systemic Racism. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 14, 451–461. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00500-4
  • Baires, N. (2020). The Cultural Adaptation of Traditional Behavior-Analytic Interventions for Hispanic/Latinx Children with Autism and the Caregivers and Siblings Who Care for Them [Dissertation]. Southern Illinois University. https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/dissertations/1851/
  • Chapman, R., & Evans, B. (2020). Using Art-Based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for an Adolescent With Anxiety and Autism. Clinical Case Studies, 19(6), 438–455. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534650120950527
  • G. Szabo, P.B. Willis, C.J. Palinski (2019) Watch me try: ACT for improving athletic performance of young adults with ASD. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 3, 434-449.
  • Hutchinson, V.D., Rehfeldt, R.A., Hertel, I. et al. (2019). Exploring the Efficacy of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Interview Skills to Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Adv Neurodev Disord 3,450–456. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41252-019-00136-8
  • Oliver, M.A., Selman, M., Brice, S. & Alegbo, R. (2019). Two cases of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy leading to rapid psychological improvement in people with intellectual disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 13(6), 257-267. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-04-2019-0012
  • Maisel, M.E., Stephenson, K.G., Cox, J.C. & South, M. (2019). Cognitive defusion for reducing distressing thoughts in adults with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 59,34-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2018.12.005

 

Books

 

Videos

 

This list of resources was produced by the ACBS ACT and Autism Special Interest Group: https://contextualscience.org/act_and_autism_sig_resources

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