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Res Dev Disabil. 2006 Jul-Aug;27(4):364-80. Epub 2005 Jul 26.

Stepping Stones Triple P: a pilot study to evaluate acceptability of the program by parents of a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.


The experience of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in standard parenting programs has not been researched, although anecdotal evidence suggests that they do not find them acceptable. Forty-two parents of children with ASD were asked to view a DVD explaining individual parenting strategies from Stepping Stones, a new branch of the Triple P program targeted specifically at parents of children with disabilities. Parents were asked to rate each strategy for acceptability, usability and behavioural intention, i.e., their intention to use the strategy. Additionally, parental attributions and parental perceived control were explored as possible barriers to positive evaluations of Stepping Stones parenting strategies. A focus group of parents was used to gather more detailed parent response to the program. Parent responses to the program were generally positive and attribution of the child's behaviour to uncontrollable factors was found to predict higher ratings of usability. The results were interpreted within the context of Weiner's attributional theory and the theory of reasoned action. The limitations of this study and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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