Parent–Child Interaction Therapy is an empirically based, behavioral parent training program for young children exhibiting disruptive behaviors. Parent–Child Interaction Therapy shows promise for treating disruptive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder. Treatment processes (i.e. treatment length and homework compliance), parenting skills, parenting stress, and behavioral outcomes (i.e. disruptive and externalizing behaviors and executive functioning) were compared in 16 children with autism spectrum disorder and 16 children without autism spectrum disorder matched on gender, age, and initial intensity of disruptive behaviors. Samples were statistically similar in terms of child receptive language, child race and ethnicity, parent age, gender and education, and number of two-parent families in treatment. Families received standard, mastery-based Parent–Child Interaction Therapy. Both groups demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful improvements in child disruptive and externalizing behavior and executive functioning, parenting skills, and parenting stress. Length of treatment, homework compliance, and parent and child outcomes did not differ significantly between groups. A subset of children with autism spectrum disorder also showed significant improvements in social responsiveness, adaptive skills, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. This study replicates and extends prior research by demonstrating that children with and without autism spectrum disorder experience similar benefits following Parent–Child Interaction Therapy. Findings may expand the availability and dissemination of time-limited, evidence-based interventions for autism spectrum disorder and comorbid disruptive behaviors.
- autism spectrum disorder
- behavioral parent training
- disruptive behavior
- evidence-based treatments
- Parent–Child Interaction Therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology