6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a group behavioral parenting intervention for emotional and behavioral problems (EBPs) in young autistic children. Method: This was a feasibility pilot randomized controlled trial comparing a 12-week group behavioral parenting intervention (Predictive Parenting) to an attention control (Psychoeducation). Parents of 62 autistic children 4 to 8 years of age were randomized to Predictive Parenting (n = 31) or Psychoeducation (n = 31). The primary outcome was a blinded observational measure of child behaviors that challenge. Secondary outcomes were observed child compliance and parenting behaviors; parent- and teacher-reported child EBPs; self-reported parenting practices, stress, self-efficacy, and well-being. Cost-effectiveness was also explored. Results: Recruitment, retention, completion of measures, treatment fidelity, and parental satisfaction were high for both interventions. There was no group difference in primary outcome: mean log of rate 0.18 lower (d, 90% CI = −0.44 to 0.08) in Predictive Parenting. Differences in rates of child compliance (0.44, 90% CI = 0.11 to 0.77), facilitative parenting (0.63, 90% CI = 0.33 to 0.92) and parent-defined target symptom change (−0.59, 90% CI −0.17 to −1.00) favored Predictive Parenting. There were no differences on other measures. Predictive Parenting was more expensive than Psychoeducation, with a low probability of being more cost-effective. Conclusion: Feasibility was demonstrated. There was no evidence from this pilot trial that Predictive Parenting resulted in reductions in child EBPs beyond those seen following Psychoeducation; in addition, the effect size was small, and it was more expensive. However, it showed superiority for child compliance and facilitative parenting with moderate effect sizes. Future, definitive studies should evaluate whether augmented or extended intervention would lead to larger improvements. Clinical trial registration information: Autism Spectrum Treatment and Resilience (ASTAR); https://www.isrctn.com/; 91411078.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1404-1418
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
Early online date26 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • autism
  • emotional and behavioral problems
  • feasibility
  • parenting
  • randomized controlled trial


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