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Title: The role of parental attributions in the acceptability of behavioural interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders
Author: Choi, Yee Ki Kathy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 3613
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Many children, especially those with developmental disabilities, may present with problem behaviour which requires some form of intervention (e.g., Egger & Angold, 2006; Magee & Roy, 2008). Behavioural interventions are one of the most widely used and most empirically supported interventions for alleviating children’s problem behaviour. Nevertheless, research has highlighted that treatment acceptability should also be considered an important criterion that may play a role in the success of behavioural interventions (e.g., Calvert & Johnston, 1990; Carter, 2007; Kazdin, 1980). Studies have identified numerous factors that may influence parental acceptability of behavioural interventions for their child’s problem behaviour. In particular, parental attributions have received increasing attention as one of these possible factors (e.g., Mah & Johnston, 2008). However, very little empirical research has explicitly examined the potential relationship between parental attributions and treatment acceptability, and the findings were often limited by methodological issues. The present study extends the existing literature by exploring the relationship between parental attributions and treatment acceptability of behavioural interventions for problem behaviour in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mothers of children with ASD aged 3 to 9 years (N = 139) completed survey measures that assessed demographics, parental attributions, treatment acceptability of parent-focused and child-focused behavioural interventions, severity of their child’s disruptive behaviour, and severity of their child’s ASD symptoms. The results showed that parental attributions of parent-referent stability, but not the other attributional dimensions, negatively predicted treatment acceptability of a parent-focused behavioural intervention, even when severity of disruptive behaviour was statistically controlled. Conversely, no associations were found between any attributional dimension and treatment acceptability of a child-focused behavioural intervention. Preliminary analyses also revealed that mothers’ ratings of the severity of their child’s disruptive behaviour were significantly negatively correlated to the acceptability of both parent-focused and child-focused behavioural interventions. The results have potential implications for professionals to identify and challenge distorted attributions of parent-referent stability in order to promote parental acceptance of a parent-focused behavioural intervention for problem behaviour in children with ASD.
Supervisor: Kovshoff, Hanna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman