ACT for autism and related disorders: meta-analyses and reviews

ACT can be a 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Randomised controlled 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

This list of resources was produced by the ACBS ACT and Autism Special Interest Group

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